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Zopa Tue, Oct 31, 2006
Zopa is another peer-to-peer lending website offering online loans to online people.  It's pretty similar to Prosper in that it enables humans to lend money to other humans without the need for a bank or other lending institution.  CNN's Business 2.0 wrote an article a few weeks ago calling Zopa one of 11 major "disruptors" in the world today.  It disrupts the huge profit margin made by banks by competing with their 19% interest rates for credit cards and their 2% interest rates for savings accounts.  The average interest rate for Zopa loans is around 7%, making it a nicer investment than a CD (for lenders) and a better rate than a credit card or bank (for borrowers).  The main problem I see with it is that it's probably not as reliable or trustworthy as a bank that's been around for 100 years and has billions of dollars of assets and is FDIC insured.  Their FAQs give a little insight as to how the company is currently being regulated and what would happen if the company failed.  It offers a little comfort, but I'm still a little skeptical.  Awesome idea though, and I'd be much more willing to participate if I had more money to throw around and if I heard from people who've used the service successfully in the past. 

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