Peer-to-peer lender Zopa moves towards bank launch after raising £32m

Britain’s biggest peer-to-peer lender is moving closer towards its goal of setting up a bank, raising £32m from investors just weeks after the City watchdog gave it permission to launch an ISA.

Zopa, initially set up in 2005 as an “eBay for money” service, lets people bypass banks by lending money directly to borrowers online in exchange for interest. 

However the firm has recently said it wants to challenge high-street lenders by offering deposit accounts and overdrafts, noting on Thursday that it has completed a funding round to help it build a “next generation” bank. 

The investment – led by financial services group Wadhawan Global Capital and venture capital fund Northzone – will give the group extra firepower to expand. Northzone partner Jeppe Zink said the new bank could be a “blueprint” for others to follow. 

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