Press release: for immediate publication
Zopa launches unique ‘Young Markets’ service
Zopa launches an innovative new service to help young adults who can’t get a
personal loan because they have a limited credit history
LONDON, 30th July 2008: Zopa - the world’s first person-to-person online lending
exchange (http://uk.zopa.com) – has just launched its new ‘Young Markets’ service to
help those aged 20 to 25 obtain unsecured loans at very competitive rates. The new
service has been developed to help the many people of this age who cannot get loans at
decent rates simply because they have little credit history – NOT because they have a
As is the case for all would-be borrowers who come to Zopa, young people with a bad
credit record or those looking to borrow more than they can reasonably afford will still be
declined. But those with a clean record or only a limited record will be able to apply for
loans, subject to Zopa’s normal identity checks etc.
Zopa lenders can choose to make offers to these young applicants, with the added
attraction of being able to charge a higher rate of interest because of the higher risk that
these as yet unproven younger borrowers represent. So whereas the safest borrowers
coming to Zopa can typically get a £5000 loan over 3 years at around 8.5%, Young
Market borrowers will be able to get the same loan at around 12.5%.
Giles Andrews, UK Managing Director and cofounder of Zopa said, “We are already
providing an invaluable antidote to the credit crunch for people over 25, as Zopa loans
continue to be available to a wide audience and at some of the very lowest rates
available anywhere. With our Young Markets launch we are delighted to be offering this
unique service to young adults who have been unnecessarily blocked from accessing
competitive loans up to now simply because they have a very limited credit history.
And for Zopa lenders, the launch offers them further choice and control in both the rates
of return they can obtain and the people their loans will help. Lenders are already telling
us they are enjoying helping young responsible adults poorly served by the banks.
Because it’s people rather than banks who do the lending at Zopa, no borrower is
suffering higher charges or a more restrictive lending practice at the hands of banks
trying to make up for losses incurred through their own overzealous sub-prime lending.
And with the default rate on our loans remaining at a tiny 0.04%, at Zopa it’s like the
credit crunch never happened.”
Zopa already has Young Market borrowers and their lenders happy to talk to the
media about their experience of the service and why they came to Zopa. Please
call for details and contact numbers.
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For further information or assistance, please contact:
Martin Campbell, BeaconStrategic on 07802 634 695 or email@example.com
Notes for Editors
What is Zopa?
Zopa is the world’s first online marketplace where people meet to lend and borrow
money. Lenders get great returns and borrowers get low-cost loans. With no bank in the
middle, both parties get better rates. With over 220,000 members worldwide, Zopa
operates in the UK, US, and Italy, and is working on a Japanese operation. To find out
more, please visit www.zopa.com.
What’s in it for consumers?
Lenders are enjoying a smart way of getting a return, alongside their savings and
investments. Some lenders are earning more than 10% pa, and the average return on
all money lent to date is more than 7.3% pa (figures are before tax, but after bad debt
Borrowers are finding it a fair and human way of getting a low-cost loan. They are
enjoying market-leading rates, with a typical APR currently of around 9% (based on
£5,000 over 3 years in the A* market), and the flexibility to repay their loan early at no
Risks are kept to a minimum
To protect lenders' money, Zopa uses all the safety measures banks use, plus a few
more. All borrowers are identity-checked, credit scored and risk-assessed, and anybody
lending £500 or more has their money spread across at least 50 borrowers. The default
rate since launch has been remarkably low at below 0.04%.
Zopa holds Consumer Credit Licences from the Office of Fair Trading, uses the same
processes and fraud prevention systems as banks (including Equifax, Experian and Call
Credit for credit rating), and is a member of the Finance and Leasing Association.
Charges are simple, clear and low
Zopa runs a simple and transparent charging model: lenders pay an annual fee of 0.5%
(increasing to 1% for lenders joining after 5.8.08) on the money they lend, and borrowers
pay a fixed fee of £94.25 which is added to their loan and reflected in the APR figures
quoted. There are no hidden charges or any form of early repayment fee.
A growing trophy cabinet
The Webby Awards - Best Financial Services Site 2008 and Best Banking/Bill-Paying
The International Retail Banking Awards - Most Threatening Non-Bank Competitor
The Banker Awards - Internet Project of 2007
Red Herring 100 Award 2007
CNet Technology Awards – Technology Project of 2007 and Internet Innovation of
Named by Business 2.0 as one of eleven disruptive companies “whose
breakthroughs will change everything”, October 2006
A five star review in What Investment magazine, the first time the publication has
ever awarded a perfect score, August 2006.