Zopa: the upstart lender intent on rewriting the A to Z of how to become a bank. The early pacesetter in the peer-to-peer sector wants to turn convention on its head
Jaidev Janardana has set his sights beyond his industry peers and is intent on taking on the country’s banking giantsJOHN NGUYEN / JNVISUALSAfter the financial crash, peer-to-peer lenders were hailed as the antidote to the excesses of the Square Mile. Young, energetic and fizzing with ambitions to break the dominance of the big high street banks, they were everything that the self-serving City elite were not. Even David Cameron was quick to jump on the bandwagon, choosing Zopa, the original peer-to-peer lender, to accompany him on a trade mission to China. Much like the former prime minister, however, the lustre around peer-to-peer has faded. Funding Circle, the sector’s biggest player, has lost a quarter of its value since its stock market floatation in September.