Zopa, the UK’s oldest peer-to-peer lender, has become the first major company of its kind to be granted authorisation by the City regulator following more than a year of delays.

While the majority of the lenders were expected to get the nod from the Financial Conduct Authority by April 2016, only a handful of smaller companies were waved through, leading to frustration among industry players.

Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter, which combined hold more than 60 per cent of the UK market, have been seen as important regulatory test cases as the FCA tried to draw the line between peer-to-peer lending and banking.

Giles Andrews, co-founder and Chairman of Zopa said:

Zopa … has campaigned for peer-to-peer lending to be a regulated activity for a number of years. We are delighted to receive our full FCA authorisation.

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