Stopping P2P consumer investments at Zopa
After 16 years of peer-to-peer (P2P) consumer investments at Zopa, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close this part of our business. We’re committed to making the process as easy as possible for you. To support this, Zopa Bank will be buying your entire loan portfolio at current face value without any of the fees you’d normally pay for a loan sale. You’ll receive your investment balance back by 31 January 2022.
We’ve informed our regulators, the FCA, of our decision.
What this means for you
We deliberated over a number of options for how to close the P2P side of our business and we believe the sale of your portfolio in full represents the best outcome for our customers. Crucially, this will lock in the returns you’ve already earned and ensure your funds are available to withdraw from your holding account in a timely manner.
Zopa’s purchase of your portfolio will happen in stages, starting in December with your newest loans and completing no later than 31 January 2022 with the oldest loans.
We’ll purchase your loans at face value, so you’ll receive the balance you have invested in loans back in full plus of course any interest that borrowers have already paid up to the date of sale. The money will be directed to your Zopa holding account and we’ll send you a confirmation email at each stage of the sale, so you can withdraw your money as it comes in. Once the loan sale has been completed, our Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) customers will need to request an ISA transfer to a new provider to retain their tax-free wrapper
Why we’re doing this
We’re proud that our prudent, data-led model has achieved consistent positive returns for investors. Throughout our history we’ve delivered returns in line with target, including during the last two years, where we’ve delivered an average return of 3.9%.
Sadly, over the last few years, customer trust in P2P investing has been damaged by a small number of businesses whose approach led to material losses for customers investing in those platforms. Linked to this, the changing regulation in the sector has made it challenging to grow and remain commercially viable. We’ve therefore decided to fully focus on Zopa bank and we will be closing the P2P business with effect from 7 December.
Since the Bank launch in June of last year, we’ve already seen strong — and growing — demand for our new products. That early success shows that we’re able to help more people by providing a wider range of innovative financial products like our award-winning credit card and fixed term savings accounts, which many investors have already opened. Once the sale of loans is complete, investors will have access to an exclusive savings option from Zopa Bank.
How will my investments work in the meantime?
From today, we’re going to stop matching investor funds with loans, so all repayments will be directed to your holding account until the purchase goes through. Any money that’s currently in the queue will be automatically returned to your holding account.
We’re also going to be stopping loan sales. We’ve decided to do this as we don’t think it’s in customers’ best interests to do a loan sale now. If you were to perform a loan sale today, you’d be paying a 1% fee as well as any market rate adjustments to access part of your investment that you’ll be receiving back within weeks, with no fees to pay. For more on how investments will be impacted, check out our FAQs.
Updated FAQs and information centre
We expect our customer service agents to be very busy, so it may take them longer than normal to get back to you. To help you during this time, we’ve made lots of additional information available at the bottom of this email, through our FAQs and in the information centre, so please check these out if you have any immediate questions. The Zopa Principles (Section 14 – Contingency planning) includes information on our right to sell your loan portfolio.
Finally, thank you
As the world’s first peer-to-peer platform, this has been an incredibly difficult decision, and one only taken after lots of deliberation. At Zopa, we’re very proud of our peer-to-peer DNA and are honoured that over 90,000 of you joined us on this journey over the last 16 years. We hope that you’ll stay with us beyond your investment’s draw down and into the next chapter at Zopa.