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Zopa opens platform to new investors

Zopa has today announced it has re-opened its platform to new customers.

New customers will be able to invest in any of Zopa’s four investment products – Core, ISA Core, Plus, and ISA Plus – and will join more than 60,000 investors in earning attractive returns through Zopa.

Since March 2017, Zopa has operated a waiting list to prioritise existing customers and ensure they continued to enjoy the best possible investing experience. Zopa grew its lending volumes by 43% in 2017, and in November was the first peer-to-peer consumer lender to disburse more than £100m in a single month.

The waiting list will remain in place and customers joining the list today may wait around a month, depending on demand from existing customers.

The same attractive rates across all investment products

Zopa’s ISA, in particular, has seen a high level of demand, with investors able to earn tax free interest on up to £20,000 (the total ISA allowance for 2017/8).

Zopa became the first major peer-to-peer platform to launch its ISA in June, with the product exclusively available to existing customers until now.

While other providers often offer lower returns or charge higher fees in their ISA products, Zopa offers the same attractive returns across its ISA and non-ISA products, making it simpler and fairer for its customers. Zopa’s ISA is also flexible (which means a customer can take money out at any point without reducing their current year’s allowance), it’s convenient, and customers can open an account quickly and easily online.

The Zopa “Fast Pass”

Existing customers won’t miss out either. Current investors who refer a friend to Zopa can earn £50 as a reward, while they’ll also receive a “Fast Pass” which they can use to move their friends further up the queue.

Zopa investors can also transfer their pre-existing ISAs into the Zopa ISA, maintaining the ISA wrapper and without reducing their current year’s allowance. This will allow customers to trade in their old cash ISAs, many of which are earning less than 1%, for a product earning over 4%, for accepting the risk of peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending is not covered by FSCS protection.

Andrew Lawson, Chief Product Officer at Zopa, commented: “New Zopa investors will join a community of more than 60,000 active investors from across the UK, earning attractive rates of return, and in the case of the ISA, tax free returns. Investors will get access to an asset class that offers a higher return than cash, in exchange for the risk of lending, and less volatile returns than in stocks and shares.

“Together with our customers we have successfully championed for peer-to-peer lending to be given ISA status and we’re delighted to offer our customers returns of up to 4.6%. With cash ISA returns at their lowest point on record, customers have an opportunity to transfer their old cash ISAs and invest in peer-to-peer lending, without affecting their current year’s ISA allowance.”