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Egg co-creators launch online lending exchange

The co-creators of pioneering Internet bank Egg have launched a new service, which they are promoting as the eBay for borrowing and lending money. Backed by the companies that invested in eBay and Betfair, is an online exchange where people who want to lend can meet and directly deal with creditworthy people who want to borrow. People can borrow at a low interest rate achievable by cutting out the middleman. The borrower pays a 1% exchange fee to Zopa, while lenders set their own rate of return and choose which borrowers they want to lend to, based on their credit rating. The service was developed by a number of key people behind the 1998 launch of Internet bank Egg. They include Richard Duvall, Egg's launch director and chief marketing officer; James Alexander, its strategy director; and Dave Nicholson, its group strategy manager. Duvall, CEO of Zopa, said: "We have created Zopa for a group of people who would rather lend and borrow directly with other people than continue to deal with faceless corporations." Zopa is jointly backed by Munich-based firm Wellington Partners, which invested in Alando, now the German eBay, and Benchmark, which backed Betfair and eBay. Johan Brenner, chairman at Benchmark Capital said: "We expect Zopa to become for consumer financial services what eBay is to auctions." The service launched yesterday. UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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