New entrant and challenger financial institution, Metro Bank has announced a new partnership with consumer P2P lending leader Zopa. According to the deal, Metro Bank is to lend funds to consumers via the online marketplace as P2P lending is increasingly recognized as a new asset class.
The partnership is the first of its kind in the UK as previously other UK banks have elected to refer some of their customers to alternative finance intermediaries such as Funding Circle and Assetz Capital but this will be the first deal to see the active involvement of Metro Bank in the P2P lending ecosystem. Commenting on the deal, Giles Andrews, CEO and co-founder of Zopa said,
“This partnership brings together two key challengers to the traditional financial services landscape and signals our intent to become a mainstream service. This unique partnership is the first of its kind in the retail banking sector and a clear sign that Zopa is a trusted platform not only for consumers but also for institutions to deploy their funds.”
UK P2P lending volumes continue to grow at record rates and with increased involvement of established and more traditional financial institutions the sector is gaining more legitimacy. While traditional lenders may one day see P2P lending as a threat, at the moment, providers are viewed as complimentary and through strategic partnerships like this can benefit from their growth..
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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