Zopa is basically ebay but for money. It provides a meeting place for borrowers and lenders whilst also vetting borrowers to ensure a satisfactory credit rating. Rather than borrowing from a bank you can borrow from someone just up the road at a rate that you both think is fair.
'Lenders can choose what rate to lend at and, by looking at the markets, decide what sort of people to lend to and when.
Borrowers can choose to take a rate offered or to wait and see whether the rates drop. Both avoid paying needless chunks of commission to Financial MegaCorp plc and can get better rates of interest as a result.'
It shows just what can be done using the peer-to-peer/ebay model. I think Zopa is going to make an awful lot of money.