Zopa Review

Zopa Review (UK Lender) 

(3.5 / 5)

– Updated September 2018

Read my 100% unbiased Zopa review here. Based on my own experience. Highlighting the positives and negatives of investing with the UK’s oldest Peer to Peer lender.

Zopa is the oldest and one of the largest Peer to Peer lenders providing personal loans to  consumers around the UK. Offering lower returns (4.0% – 4.6% as of Sept 2018). However not with the same security as Landbay, as their personal consumer loans are not secured, and they do not offer a provision fund.

 

Obvious Investor Easy-Info Table

Overall Rating*: (3.5 / 5)
Who can invest:
Estimated Return:4.0% to 4.6% - changes daily.
My estimated is 3.9%
My Actual Return:5.7%
Risk Rating*:3/10 - Low   
Early Exit:Yes.
1% fee plus possible difference in rates.
Min. Investment:£1000
Auto Invest:Yes
Manual Invest:No.
Lending To:Borrowers
Loan Security:No.
Provision Fund:No.
Time to Invest:Medium.
Huge loan book but can still take several days.
Time to Mange:None (auto-invest)
Lender Fees:Only on early exit.
Amount Lent:£3 billion+
Number of Investors:80,000+
Loan/Dflt Stats:Click Here for Stats
Regulated:Yes: FCA
Location:London, UK
Launched:2005
Website:https://www.zopa.com
IFISA/IRA:Yes: IFISA
Cashback**:Yes! £50 Click here to see current offers.
How to Sign Up**:Sign Up Here!

* My opinions on ratings and risk rating factors refer to my personal experiences with the lender. Plus factual data such as interest rates, loan types, security, platform history, default numbers etc.

**Please read our referral policy for more information on referrals & affiliate links.

 

History

Zopa were launched in 2005 in the UK. In the 13 or so years they have been in business, they have lent in excess of £3 billion from almost 80,000 active investors. They are another example of a P2P lender who is trying to be a bank. In fact Zopa are spinning of part of their business to create “Challanger Bank” in the UK.  Remember though that this review is regarding Zopa and they are not a bank, and as with any investment, remember your capital is always at risk. There is no government backed insurance such as the FDIC in the US or FCSC in the UK to protect your capital.

My Investment in Zopa

I have some capital in Zopa but not as much as in some of the other P2P lenders.  Personally I don’t mind taking a little extra risk for the higher returns available elsewhere. I think that around 4% return for unsecured loans with no provision fund is not the best risk/return ratio. However because Zopa made it though the 2008 financial crisis mostly intact speaks volumes for their business model and loan qualification process. Their default rates are also very low for unsecured consumer loans:

Graph showing expected defaults compared to actual defaults (2005 to 2016)

 

Zopa offer two investment accounts:

Zopa Summary Page

Returns

They are matching loans at returns of 4.14% in their Core portfolio and 4.77% in their Plus portfolio. This is based on an email update I got from them this week, Sept 2018.  Zopa’s Core Account is made up of the higher rated lenders (from A*-C Risk Markets they quote).  Zopa’s Plus Account is a little more risky lending to their A*-E Risk Markets. The interest rates don’t seem that much greater for the extra risk to me so I just keep my money in core.

 

Website

The Zopa website also has some handy pages which show how loans are distributed and when repayments are due.

Zopa Statistics Page

Summary

Overall I think Zopa is a good option for investors who want to go with a well established company. With a successful lending history and low default rates, Zopa is a good option. Let’s face it, 4% is better than you’re going to get out of any bank right now.

 

Click here to open an account  New Customers receive £50 cashback when they join Zopa and invest £2000 or more. When you open an account using this link it helps me to run this website and write new reviews. Please read our referral policy for more info.

 

 

Thumbs Up

THUMBS UP POINTS FOR ZOPA

  • Safety – large company with good history of providing loans to consumers and was able to weather the 2008 financial crisis and come out of it relativity unscathed.
  • Auto-Invest –very easy to invest with, and hands off investing once set up and reinvestment enabled.
  • Fast Investment time – investment is typically quite fast as Zopa has a huge loan book. Large sums can be gobbled up quite quickly minimizing cash drag, dependent upon their loan book.
  • Website – very easy to use and understand. Many statistics available to see where your money is invested.
  • Diversification – capital is invested over many loans, in fact Zopa try not to put more than £10 of an investors portfolio in to any single loan, so they abide by the “Prime Directive” very well. This of course would be dependent on the size of investment account as wall as Zopa’s loan book at the time of investment.
  • Low minimum investment – £1000 to start. If your portfolio is still small, it’s still easy to invest with Zopa
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulated.
  • IFISA available for UK investors

 

Thumbs Down

THUMBS DOWN POINTS ZOPA

  • No Provision Fund – if default rates rise on unsecured loans, it could throw off the projected return rate very quickly.
  • Lower Returns – Zopa offers lower returns than many competitors. Loans are still unsecured.
  • Exit Fee – Zopa charge a 1% exit fee plus any difference in interest rates for both accounts if you need to withdraw your money early.
  • No Quick Access Account – depending on demand, you could have to wait a while to withdraw funds early.

 

Traffic Light Low Risk                Zopa TrustPilot Rating

RISK FACTOR – 3/10 – Low

I consider Zopa to be at the lower end of the risk scale. Taking in to consideration that all loans are unsecured, and there is no Provision Fund, Zopa have a wealth of experience qualifying borrowers and even weathered the worst financial crisis in modern history. Even after 13 years in business; they still get excellent ratings on TrustPilot from their customers.

 

WHO CAN INVEST WITH ZOPA

U.K resident investors with a U.K.  bank account and a U.K. address and phone number can invest with Zopa. Contact Zopa for further information.

 

 

Click here to open an account  New Customers receive £50 cashback when they join Zopa and invest £2000 or more. When you open an account using this link it helps me to run this website and write new reviews. Please read our referral policy for more info.

 

 

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Zopa Peer to Peer Lender Review
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