Peer-to-peer giant Zopa is hoping to re-open its platform to new investors by the end of the year.
The platform has been closed to new investors for much of 2017, although existing customers have been able to invest further cash without any restrictions.
Since March, Zopa has asked potential new investors to join a waiting list and there are now more than 15,000 people in the queue to invest.
Zopa says it has not allowed new investors onto the platform because it does not want the amount of investors to outstrip the number of suitable borrowers. However, it is now looking to allow new investors onto the platform before the end of 2017.
As part of its drive for new borrowers, Zopa has announced a partnership with Saffron Building Society. This will give the building society’s customers access to Zopa loans through its 11 branches across Hertfordshire, Essex and Suffolk and on Saffron’s website.
Moneywise reported last month how Zopa customers have been left frustrated by significant delays when trying to sell their loans, with the firm having battled against slow speeds on its platform throughout the summer.
Zopa is one of the biggest peer-to-peer platforms in the UK, and expects to lend around £1 billion to consumers in 2017.
‘We have to be fair to existing customers’
Julian Wadley, public relations manager for Zopa, says: “Since March existing Zopa investors have been able to make investments as normal, but no new investors have been able to invest through the platform. We didn’t think it was fair that our existing customers, many of whom have invested through Zopa for over a decade, would have to wait too long to have their money lent out.
“There are over 15,000 people on the waiting list at the moment. We haven’t opened the waiting list at all since March, but it is something we are hoping to do before the end of the year – depending on demand.”
“We have to balance the supply and demand of loans and investments to give all of our customers the experience we want them to have,” Mr Wadley adds.