New bank notes for a new type of bank – Zopa gives UK banknotes a feel good makeover as it gets banking licence

New Zopa research reveals that over half of British adults don’t think their banks operate with customers’ best interests at heart, whilst nearly a third (30%) think their bank could provide a fairer service*. The banking industry is well overdue a change.

Zopa, the world’s first peer-to-peer lending company, has decided to take on the challenge and has launched a new retail bank built for customers who have grown frustrated with traditional banking.

·       Zopa’s new retail bank offers a wider choice of products to customers, with a mission to help them feel good about managing their money again

·       As a starting point, it is cheering up the UK’s sad-looking bank notes. Zopa has marked their bank launch by redesigning the UK’s bank notes using four talented UK artists: Matt Blease, Michael Driver, Joey Yu and Nadia Akingbule

·       Zopa sends cheeky request to the Bank of England to switch to the new designs nationwide

Zopa has today received its banking licence, allowing it to create a bank which better serves the needs of customers by giving them a fair deal as standard. The new bank will do that by:

·       Offering products with no catches. Like offers for new customers only or charges for settling your loan early. 

·      Managing your money is no sweat. With handy tools to help our customers get stuff done and helpful humans to talk to if they need it.

·      We go beyond ‘good enough’. We listen to what our customers want and change to meet their needs. We’re built for the future so we can evolve easily and use the latest tech to give our customers a great experience.

However, to help people to feel good about money, Zopa thought it was fitting to start with bank notes themselves – which currently feature glum looking portraits: Sir Winston Churchill on the £5, Jane Austen on the £10, Adam Smith on the £20, and Matthew Boulton & James Watt on the £50 – all literally noteworthy – but none eliciting much feel good factor.

Zopa asked four contemporary artists if they could have a go at creating ‘FeelGood’ notes.

·       Matt Blease redesigned the £5 note, saying: “What if Winston’s V for Victory was in fact a peace sign? What if the underlying message was more about good vibes and love than ‘blood, toil, sweat and tears’?”

·       Michael Driver, the £10 note: “Everybody loves dogs; even the queen! Nothing gives you that FeelGood feeling more than seeing the queen and her smiley corgis.”

·       Nadia Akingbule, the £20 note: “Mine tells a story – I went with a hand and heart motif to symbolise the sharing and community bond that money can facilitate.”

·       Joey Yu, the £50: “For me, FeelGood money is about memories and experiences – I re-imagined the Queen, Watt and Bolton at an outdoor cinema, at the perfect golden hour when the sun begins to dip behind the trees.”

In 2019, Zopa will roll out its new products. There’ll be a fixed-term deposit product, credit cards and a money management app. All tailored to ensure customers can make the most out of their money.

Jaidev Janardana, CEO of Zopa, said: “We’re launching a new kind of bank, one that makes people feel good about money again. As we set about redesigning banking for our customers, the best place for us to start was with money itself. That’s why we’ve chosen four illustrators to add some much needed fun into the designs of the banknotes we use daily. Money allows us to do every day things, but also the bigger more exciting and memorable things in life so why shouldn’t the people on notes look happy?”

Check out the current range of products at Zopa.com.


* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2017

adults, of which 2008 have a bank account. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th – 29th

October 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are

representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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