Commenting on the news that Metro Bank is partnering with Zopa to lend its funds on the peer-to-peer platform, David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says: “This could be a win win – Metro Bank could benefit from the traditionally high returns peer-to-peer lending can offer and there will be more cash in the pot for borrowers. For those locked out of loans from the traditional ‘Big Four’ banks, peer-to-peer lending can offer a much needed alternative, preventing them from resorting to payday loans.
“Seeing a challenger bank invest may also allay some of the fears people have and be a green light for anyone looking to boost their savings by investing their money into peer-to-peer lending. For despondent savers allowing their money to languish in low earning savings accounts and ISAs, a return of up to 5% with these schemes could be an attractive proposition.
“Would be investors have historically been cautious of using a peer-to-peer lender, in part due to a lack of FCA regulation. Although they are now regulated by the FCA, as with all investments your capital is not protected by the FSCS and is at risk. Other saving opportunities, such as current accounts, still offer some attractive interest rates, and may prove to be the last obstacle before peer-to-peer can truly hit the mainstream.”
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uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.
uSwitch customers have the option to create an account which will prompt them when their current broadband, credit card, energy, insurance and mobile deals are coming to an end. For energy customers, the account can also automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2016, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £320m on their energy bills alone.
Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.
The uSwitch mobile app allows customers to compare energy and broadband deals. Energy customers can compare deals in seconds by scanning the QR code on their energy bill. The app won 'Most Innovative Use of Mobile' and the 'Chairman's Award' at The DRUM Marketing on Mobile Awards 2017. Consumers voted it Most Popular Website (Comparison category) in the Website of the Year Awards 2016.
uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.
uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH.
uSwitch is owned by ZPG Plc (LSE:ZPG), owner of some of the UK’s most trusted home-related digital platforms including Hometrack, Money.co.uk, PrimeLocation, Property Software Group and Zoopla.