Zopa, the 15-year-old peer-to-peer lending business, is announcing that it has been granted its complete U.K. bank licence, as it prepares to release a fixed-term savings account, followed by a credit card. Called “ Zopa Bank,”the new challenger bank will sit alongside its existing peer-to-peer lending company, under Zopa Group, creating what the veteran fintech previously described as the first hybrid peer-to-peer and digital bank offering.
Zopa had provisionally gotten a U.K. bank license in December 2018 “ with constraints,”the first major milestone in the licensing process. The complete license, which required Zopa to raise a more ₤ 140 million late in 2015 in a round led by IAG Capital in order to meet capital needed to become a bank, suggests it can now launch more commonly.
“The Zopa Fixed Term Cost savings Account provides a competitive rate over 1-5 years at a time when rates are at a historical low,” says the upstart bank. “The account can be opened in as low as 7 minutes online and is secured by the Financial Providers Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as much as ₤ 85,000.”
Next, Zopa states it plans to introduce a credit card in the coming months, which will consist of “innovative new features developed to put consumers in control of their borrowing.”
“The card will address the needs of consumers who have actually had to bear with bad service and uncertain rates from their existing card suppliers. These brand-new products will sit along with Zopa’s existing offering of individual and car loans and investment products,” says Zopa Bank.
Whether a new challenger bank, even one with Zopa’s established brand name, can cut through the sound this late in the race remains to be seen. The challenger bank space in the U.K. is crowded, to say the least, consisting of burgeoning home names like Monzo and Starling, and to a lower degree, Tandem, which on the surface seems Zopa’s most direct non-legacy competitor.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.