Licence of Zopa Italy Revoked has posted a message on their frontpage that the Bank of Italy has revoked the licence to act as a financial intermediary.

As a result Zopa Italy has currently stopped issuing new loans and accepting new lenders.

EDIT: Speculation – It may have to do with this order of the Bank of Italy, which came into effect on July, 1st limiting the max. allowable interest rates.

UPDATED July 14th – Information provided by Carlo Vitali, Zopa Italy:

I can assure you that the action of Bank of Italy has nothing to do with this order of the Bank of Italy. The document you refer to has quarterly releases and it simply states the average interest rates for various credit products and says that any interest rate higher than 1.5x the average is considered usury (and therefore is illegal).
Zopa has never quoted a single loan even close to usury rate and our average rates are really appreciated by borrowers being in average 9,6 APR against a 15% industry average.
Bank of Italy accuse us of operating banking activity without being a bank while we sustain that we are just intermediating payments between private lenders and borrowers. Accusation is based on the fact that we have a transit lender account, where the money stays for few days, maximum a couple of weeks, before going out in loans. On this account we don’t get any interest and is not part of the assets of Zopa Italia. Nevertheless we had proposed an operative solution to solve the issue and we hope we will get the chance to implement it and reassume the business. I remind you that we got an authorization from Bank of Italy before launching Zopa in Italy.

Thanks to Carlo Vitali, for providing with this information on the status.

How Bad Customer Service can Backfire

3 thoughts on “Licence of Zopa Italy Revoked

  1. Hi,

    I’m a lender at ZOPA Italy. The order of Bank of Italy you mentions states what the average annual interst rates duirng the past 3 months have been for different type of credit (personal credit, real estate mortgages, factoring and so on..) and for different debt amount ranges.
    The maximum allowable interest rates ar 150% of that for each debt type/amount category.

    For personal credit from non-bank institutions, which is what ZOPA Italy does, this average interest rate has been 14.11 % for debts up to 5000 Euros and 10.73% for debts above that threshold.

    This means that the maximum allowable interest rates are about 22% and about 16% respectively.

    Interest rates for ZOPA borrowers, even with the lowest credit rating and the longest debt duration are far below those thresholds.

  2. I read that zopa Italy has been excluded by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Tremonti, from financial intermediaries due to a congenital defect in the nature of all social lendings: the money waiting constitutes a deposit.

Comments are closed.