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3. Zopa

The world's first online peer-to-peer lending and borrowing marketplace

Founder: Giles Andrews
Website: www.zopa.com

The world’s first online peer-to-peer lending and borrowing marketplace was launched in 2005. Giles, the company’s current UK managing director, says building up trust with customers is essential. “When you’re involved in something as serious as people’s money, it’s difficult.” Giles says the recession is proving to be a ‘great opportunity’ for the business. “The credit crunch means the banks’ appetite to lend is diminished, which is great for us. As long as our lenders aren’t affected negatively, there’s no real need for us to worry,” he says.

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