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2018 – Our year in the news

2018 was another landmark year for Zopa with many of our milestones covered by the press. Here are our highlights from the last 12 months: 

Gaining banking licence  

After 13 years of offering fair and simple investments and loans, gaining our banking licence means we can provide a broader range of financial products to our customers. Getting our banking licence is one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done, and it was one of the biggest pieces of news we’ve ever announced. 

From Sky News to The Scotsman, the press were excited about us gaining our banking licence with restrictions. Spanning national online and print coverage, the likes of The TelegraphFTThe Daily MailTechCrunch & CNBC (1/2) covered the news. Mentions in regional titles included The Yorkshire Post, The Scotsman, The Irish Independent and The Courier. 

Coverage was also generated in tech titles such as QuartzBanking TechComputerWeekly & Verdict. And design title It’s Nice That loved our cheeky redesign of existing banknotes. 

Growth & profitability  

2018 was a standout year for our lending records. We hit our £3bn lending landmark right at the beginning of the year which was covered in P2P Finance News. We also lent out £1bn in 2018, the most we’ve ever achieved in a calendar year.  

In the summer, our peer-to-peer business celebrated its first full year of profitability since 2012, as revenues climbed by 40% to £46.5m. Our focus on tech innovation, including letting customers know in seconds whether they’re pre-approved for a loan, alongside a range of initiatives and partnerships to reach new customers, fuelled our revenue increase. The Times & City AM covered the news.  

The Times & TechCrunch covered our November announcement that we’d achieved our largest round of funding to date, raising £60m ahead of our bank launch.  

Following the announcement of our bank licence, our CEO Jaidev Janardana was interviewed by the Press Association where he discussed our future plans for further funding. 

Giving our customers more 

To ensure our investors were getting the best rate possible, we increased our target return rates twice in 2018, with AltFiWhich? & Moneywise all covering the news. 

Following the launch of the Zopa ISA in June 2017, “ISA season” got into full swing at the start of 2018. Zopa’s Innovative Finance ISA was featured in a variety of press covering the best ISAs including The TimesWhich?The Daily TelegraphThe Daily Mail & The Daily Express 

January heralded the start of the Open Banking / Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) initiative and Zopa’s customers were some of the first to take advantage. On the day of launch we introduced a new income verification tool to help our loan customers enjoy a more seamless application journey – as covered by City AM & This is Money. We also shared our views on what needed to happen in the banking industry to make Open Banking a widespread successful for all customers in City AM. 

In October, our CEO Jaidev was interviewed by The Independent. He gave a frank and honest account of his personal experience of debt collectors when he was growing up and explained how the encounters fuelled his ambitions to help people manage their money better. Understanding what it’s like from the customer’s point of view and creating a sustainable business at the same time are essential aspects of Jaidev’s vision for Zopa. Offering fair products, giving all our customers control and cutting out some of the stress money can create are a vital part of our mission to make Zopa the best place for money in the UK.