Giles Andrews wants everyone to know that Zopa stands for “zone of possible agreement”, a negotiating term denoting the range of feasible prices that a buyer and seller can agree on.
On his office wall is a painting of another Zopa – Lama Zopa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and mediator. “It’s not one of those made-up names,” Andrews, the co-founder of the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company, insists. “The name does actually stand for something.”
Zopa was founded by Andrews and four colleagues in 2004, with the idea of creating “an eBay for money”. It bypasses banks by matching individual borrowers looking for lower-rate loans with people wanting to lend money and benefit from higher rates of interest than those available from savings accounts.