UK: Peer to peer lenders to become more traditional banks

In November, Zopa, the world’s first online peer-to-peer lender, revealed that it was applying for a full banking license so it can offer a wider range of savings and credit products. “P2P only works on a small scale,” said one industry expert who wished to remain anonymous. “There is not enough demand for credit to grow it enough and so they have to act like banks.” Without a banking license Zopa would not be able to offer protection for deposits like other banks do with the support of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The absence of this protection creates a barrier for new customers who need the assurance about their money’s security. Hence, to be able to attract customers peer-to-peer lenders currently have to offer higher returns to outweigh the risks involved. According to RFi Group data, 24% of savers would currently consider saving through peer-to-peer lending as an alternative to traditional forms of saving. 

 

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