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Zopa Banking License Hailed as Watershed Moment for Challenger Banks

Armed with its banking licence, Zopa is set to take on the traditional banks.

According to a survey commissioned by the industry regulator, the FCA, only 40% of UK adults have confidence in the financial services industry and Zopa’s own research reveals that over half of British adults don’t think their banks operate with customers’ best interests at heart.

Zopa aims to redefine banking through:

  • Giving customers a fair deal as standard – with no catches like sign-up offers that aren’t available to existing customers or hidden fees and charges.
  • Making sure money management is no sweat – with handy tools in our app to help customers get stuff done, plus helpful humans at the end of the phone.
  • Going beyond ‘good enough’ – Zopa is built for the future, so we listen to what customers want and do our best to make it happen – like in its P2P business, introducing Innovative Finance ISAs or making sure it takes less than 3 minutes to apply for a loan.

Zopa will begin rolling out its new products across next year, including a fixed term savings product protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), credit card and a money management app. All products have been designed to address some of the gaps and frustrations that customers have with their current products. 

Currently, Zopa has a bank licence with restrictions. This is called the ‘mobilisation’ phase of the process where the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) put some restrictions in place. Zopa will be granted a full licence once it meets the conditions set by the regulators in the mobilisation phase– matching the way that high street banks are regulated.

Each new Zopa product has been built using innovative proprietary technology that avoids the pitfalls of traditional legacy banking, a real point of difference in the fintech world.

Jaidev Janardana, CEO of Zopa, said: “Acquiring our banking licence is the starting point for Zopa to become a major force in retail banking. When we pioneered the peer-to-peer lending model globally in 2005, we did so by listening to customers and creating a better product for them. We will bring the same focus to our banking products – drawing on tech innovation, our values of fairness and transparency, and better customer service to help even more people to feel-good about money.”

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