UK P2P pioneer Zopa has been awarded a full banking licence as it gears up to begin taking deposits via its first product, a one-to-five year fixed term savings account.
In December, Zopa confirmed a £140 million fundraise, enabling it to meet regulatory capital requirements for its foray into banking.
A P2P lending pioneer, Zopa decided three years ago to branch out into more traditional banking, joining the gaggle of digital challengers - including Starling, Monzo and Atom - to recently enter the UK market.
It received a restricted UK banking license in December 2018 after picking up £60 million in funding for the build-out.
In November it began a limited one-month beta test of the new savings account, which can be opened online under seven minutes, with 200 prospective customers.
The next product in the works is a credit card, which the company says will address the needs of customers who have had to put up with poor service and unclear pricing from their existing card providers.
Jaidev Janardana, Zopa CEO, comments: “Now more than ever the banking industry needs innovative, agile providers who work on behalf of customers. At a time when people want great value, fair financial services products and simple, intuitive digital experience, Zopa offers consumers a compelling and credible alternative they can trust.
“Beyond the current pandemic, Zopa is uniquely placed to provide a compelling alternative to traditional banking by leveraging its significant technological and financial services expertise to offer a wider range of great products, including savings and credit cards, alongside its personal loans and investments.”