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Zopa – love it or loathe it?

I’m often asked about Zopa’s business model and website Lovemoney have kindly made a video explaining what they’re all about and how they work.

At the end, they ask whether you should love or loathe Zopa … you’ll have to watch the video to find out the answer to that one.

Although the video is a bit naff, the comments area is interesting with MissingOz saying that: “Zopa is great, I’ve been using it for 2 years now … Ironically, now I know how banks feel when faced with lending.”

Oh to be a banker, and take real risks with your money.

And Max878 (what happened to the other 877 Max’s?) says: “I’m a Zopa lender. Yes, it’s a strong product. However, please bear in mind that the historical returns of over 8% are simply not realistically achievable. At the moment, you are not likely to be lending to A* borrowers at much over 7.5% if that. Zopa will take 1% of that in fees (not unreasonable bearing in mind that they carry out stringent checks on potential borrowers). Many lenders, myself included, believe that default rates are edging close to 1.5% – 2% at the moment, and it’s not likely to improve in the near future. And you will of course be taxed on the interest that your investment earns.”

It’s not all fun and games in the world of borrowing and investing, is it?

Mind you, my favourite comment would have to be Olipro’s, who reckons the presenter “talks in a tone that reminds me of the informational videos they show to children in school.”

So, if Jack lends Jill one dollar and wants Jill to pay it back very quickly, Jack charges Jill more to borrow that dollar than he charges Mary … but Mary is better looking so that’s why.

Sorry, having a non-PC moment … but then I am in Italy this week, home of Silvio Berlusconi, so I can be forgiven can’t I?

More about Rome later in the week as it’s mixing business and pleasure.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Zopa and other social financial services, I’m running a one-hour webinar detailing all about this, Twitter, Facebook finance and more on Monday 6th July from 17:00 GMT (12:00 EDT, 18:00 CET) for an hour.

This follows on from our other successful webinars of recent times, and you can register to attend by clicking here.

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About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

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  • I had been a big fan of Zopa, but I was spooked by an escalation in my bad debt recently. Not enough to lose me money but enough to reduce the yield and reignite my fears that it would all go pear-shaped in a recession.
    This is definitely not a comment on Zopa as a whole – I haven’t seen overall bad debt figures and I may well have been unlucky. Just my personal experience, since you asked.
    I still love the idea and still have a reduced amount of money in it.