Eight months* after the launch of Zopa Italy the p2p lending service says it is the fastest growing in Europe (2.79 million Euro = approx 4.075 million US$ cumulative loan volume as of Sept. 3rd).
And Zopa Italy is the first social lending service with an active secondary market, called Rientro Rapido (fast-track withdrawal).
Rientro Rapido offers the lenders – who have a sudden need of liquidity -Â the possibility of recovering their funds instantly by transferring loans made to borrowers to other active lenders in the community.
It is the Zopa market who determines the possibility to transfer a loan to other lenders: in order to withdraw money, there has to be in the market at least one offer from a different lender with compatibleÂ rating, interest rate and duration.
â€œWe are very proud to be the first Social Lending world-wide to launch a service such as RientroRapido, but we have not done this for the sake of establishing a record â€“ Maurizio Sella, CEO of Zopa Italy, declares – . Since we opened our market, several lenders have asked for a tool that would allow them to withdraw rapidly the cash lent-out through Zopa. And with this new service we fulfill their desire. This is the value of Zopa: we are a community that grows, evolves and improves especially thank to the pro-active participation of its members.â€
Lenders who sell their loans through Zopa to other lenders pay 0.8% of the loan value plus 15 Euro commission to Zopa. Only loans that have never been late may be sold.
Since June borrowers can select optional payment protection insurance (Rata Protetta) against unemployment, illness or injury. Zopa states that 57% of borrowers bought the insurance (69% in September). The insurance covers the total amount of the loan.
(Source: Zopa Italy management)
*counted from the public launch on January 16th, 2008, there was a 2 month period before, that was open by invitation only.