As traditional banks tighten their lending criteria, UK P2P loan market pioneer Zopa is forecasting fast growth after passing the 200,000 member milestone earlier this month.
Zopa says total lending on the site recently topped the £23 million mark, with lenders enjoying an average return of 7.3% over its three-year lifespan. In the past three months that figure has risen to 8.9%, says the company, outstripping almost all of the best deposit account deals being offered by the banks.
Despite the negative impact of the 'credit crunch', Zopa claims the lowest default rate of any personal loan book in the UK at 0.02%.
Giles Andrews, UK managing director and co-founder of Zopa says: "Reaching the 200,000 mark is very satisfying, but given the difficulty so many people in this country are facing when trying to secure a loan at a competitive rate, we know the number could be much, much bigger."
Zopa is also growing internationally, with operations in the US and Italy. The firm says it will open a new site in Japan "in the near future".