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Zopa was one of the first financial institutions to introduce a forum, where existing and new members could discuss all matters concerning Zopa and peer-to-peer lending. Zopa also tolerated criticism on the forum, and it was moderated by non-Zopa staff who were allowed a high degree of autonomy. Can you imagine your bank allowing this?
More recently, a completely independent peer-to-peer forum was setup, funded but independent of Assetz Capital.
There are now a large number of peer-to-peer lenders who interact with one another every day. They scrutinize changes within the sector and provide commentary on their experiences with the peer-to-peer companies. Peer-to-peer lending was initially also referred to as social lending, a term which we didn't believe was appropriate, but there is a now a growing social element within lending circles.
When a peer-to-peer company launched their own competing forum, lenders were able to comment on their P2P offering. When these comments were edited and criticism deleted those lenders were less than happy. As criticisms mounted the company - who will remain nameless - threatened to close down the forum to prevent any further negative comment. Lenders lost faith and simply stopped posting, and moved their money elsewhere.
Peer-to-peer providers do well to listen to the criticism and comments from this body of individuals.