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A Bank That Isn't

March 31, 2005

Micro-credit may have become just "credit" in Zopa, a sort of lending exchange that is based on the Web. It packages groups of about fifty lenders to lend to groups of about fifty borrowers directly, without the auspices and agency of a real bank. Perhaps this is micro-syndication.

Unfortunately for people outside the UK, you must be a UK resident to participate, and I doubt this is entirely Zopa's idea — it is undoubtedly some kind of legal/regulatory restriction arising perhaps from banking law, but just as likely from the fact the Zopa evidently supplies a number of the services banks supply to their creditors, including evaluation of credit ratings and collection from late payors and defaulters.

Such a development would certainly become interesting to a lot more people if its scope were to include more places, or actually, people. Say, the US or, for even more people, China.

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