U.K. Online Lender Zopa Tapping Securitization Market

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Zopa, an online lender based in the U.K., is marketing £138 million of bonds backed by unsecured consumer loans, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The deal, dubbed Marketplace Originated Consumer Assets 2016-1, will issue five tranches of notes:  £114 million of class A Notes due October 2024 are provisionally rated ‘Aa3’; £7.5 million of class B notes due October 2024 are rated ‘A2’; £ 7.5 million of class C notes due October 2024 are rated ‘Baa2’, £9.0 million of class D notes due October 2024 are rated ‘Ba3’ and £ 12 million of class Z notes will not be rated.

The loans used as collateral were originated over Zopa’s website by P2P Global Investments and purchased by Zopa, which will continue to service them once they are securitized.  Target Servicing, which is not rated by Moody’s, has been appointed as back-up servicer. Most loans were used to rimarily to finance cars (36.2%), for debt consolidation (34.0%) and for home improvements (22.3%). The portfolio consists of 27,137 contracts with a weighted  average seasoning of 10 months and a maximum loan term of five years.  Most borrowers are employed full-time (89.9%) and their average outstanding loan balance with Zopa is £ 5,500.

Among the risks to the deal, according to Moody’s is the fact that Zopa does not retain a direct economic interest in the securitized portfolio. It also has a limited operating history, so there’s no way to know how its loans perform in a weaker economy.

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