Zopa’s 2021 results show flat losses of £41.6m as neobanking pivot pays off



Alternative Lending

Lending rose for the bank by over 400% during the year.

Zopa’s 2021 results show flat losses of £41.6m as neobanking pivot pays off

Image source: Jaidev Janardana/Zopa.

Consumer lender Zopa saw its revenues more than double last year to £70.5m, as new lending and customer number both soared during the year.

Zopa’s lending to consumers through its personal loans, car finance and credit card rose by some 433 per cent according to figures from its recently-released annual report for the year ending December 2021, from £225m in 2020 to £1.2bn last year.

After only launching its credit card in late 2020, Zopa’s annual report revealed it issued over 180,000 cards during 2021 taking its total to over 208,000 and with 86 per cent being in active use.

The figures were also boosted as part of Zopa’s exit from the peer-to-peer lending space in December 2021, where the bank purchased a £346.9m loan portfolio from investors on its platform, loans that now sit on its books.

Meanwhile, deposits for Zopa’s fixed-term savings and smart saver accounts rose an equally impressive 444 per cent to £968m.

While the bank still reported a loss after tax of £41.6m, CEO Jaidev Janardana explained the loss was due to the sharp increase in lending resulting in an impairment charge of £41.5m.

Without that charge, it’s likely that Zopa would have broken even in 2021, and since April 2022 the bank has been operating at a profit indicating that next year’s results should be positive.

“We exited the year in a very strong position, but the way ahead of us is still long,” said Janardana.

“Over the next year, we’re aiming to more than double our business in terms of total revenue and balance sheet size to create a profitable business.”

As well as growing its balance sheet, Zopa also saw its headcount increase dramatically, rising by 300 to now over 525 staff.

The results also revealed that Zopa Limited, its peer-to-peer lending subsidiary, was sold to Plata Holdings, a group owned by one of Zopa’s largest investors IAG Silverstripe, in February 2022 for £3.8m.

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