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ZOPA was one of the first P2P lenders in the UK. Zopa was created in London by Giles Andrews, James Alexander, Richard Duvall, David Nicholson, Tim Parlett.
ZOPA stands for Zone Of Possible Agreement, a term identifying the bounds within which agreement can be reached between two negotiating parties. The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association was established in 2011, with ZOPA as a founding member.
Zopa has a yearly get-together (or used to) in The Cotton Centre for its lenders so they can all meet, network and talk about finance. Normal returns varies from 3.1% to 5.6% but is subject to variations in the market.
ZOPA came at just the right time in the financial landscape. In 2005 interest rates from typical savings accounts had been at around 5% but started to drop. By the end of 2009, just after the 2008 financial crash, most had gone below 1% and many went below 0.5% making them worthless as an income stream. From the beginning, ZOPA returns were over 4%, so anyone with an ounce of financial sense moved they money out of the banks and into ZOPA. As the years went by many more peer-to-peer lenders came on the scene like Funding Circle and Lend Invest.