Zopa intends to launch a bank, and has said it expects to pass through the necessary regulatory application process in the next 15-24 months.

The P2P lender said the bank will offer FSCS protected deposit accounts for savers and overdraft alternatives to borrowers.

It added that adding a bank to the P2P lending platform would help diversify its funding sources, on top of the individual and institutional investors it already attracts.

Jaidev Janardana, chief executive officer of Zopa, said: We launched in 2005 to create a richer life for everyone by making money simple and fair. We have built a profitable, scalable and viable business. Yet we’ve only just begun. We want to launch a next generation bank to drive greater choice for borrowers, savers and investors, which is good for consumers and good for the economy.

Since its 2005 launch, Zopa has lent over £1.82bn to UK consumers, including over £650m over the past 12 months. The average loan size is £7,300, with money for a car being one of the top three reasons for a loan.