Jacob Rothschild's investment trust, RIT Capital Partners, has acquired a stake in peer-to-peer lender Zopa. Financial details of the deal have not been revealed.
Rothschild told the Financial Times that with banks still under capitalised in the wake of the 2008 crisis, alternative credit options "will be developed on a significant scale".
Last month Zopa boasted that it has now facilitated more than £250 million in loans since launching in 2005. Lenders have made an average fixed rate return of 5.4% a year over the last 12 months, after charges and average defaults.
Meanwhile, according to the Telegraph, Zopa and other P2P lenders such as RateSetter and Funding Circle will be regulated by the new Financial Conduct Authority from April 2014.
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