A British bank with more than 800,000 customers is exploring plans to allow staff work up to half the year abroad as the shift to remote working shows no sign of slowing down.
Zopa, which employs around 650 people in the capital, has hired consultants from KPMG to examine how the company can update its work-from-abroad policy, The Telegraph understands, including looking at allowing staff to work in a greater number of locations overseas.
The lender’s current policy allows staff to work 120 days a year outside the UK, but KPMG is advising it on how it can tailor the benefit, including instructing it on tax and immigration implications for staff working from different countries.
The review raises the prospect that employees at Zopa could eventually be allowed to work up to 130 days – half the working days in a year – overseas.
A source close to Zopa confirmed that the policy is being reviewed, but said the number of days employees are allowed to work from abroad “will likely not change” after its next update in the coming months.
However, it is understood that bosses would be open to extending the policy further going forward if tax and immigration rules allow it.
It comes as companies look to offer increasingly outlandish perks post-pandemic in a bid to attract and retain staff amid a tight labour market.
Fintech rivals such as Revolut and Klara currently allow staff to work overseas for 60 and 20 days a year respectively, while Atom Bank has trialled a four-day week.
However, allowing staff to work overseas for significant periods could also potentially raise regulatory questions.
The City watchdog has told the companies it regulates that they must prove that the lack of a centralised location or remote working does not prevent the regulator from receiving information about a firm, cause detriment to consumers or increase the risk of financial crime.
The Financial Conduct Authority has even warned bankers and traders that regulators could conduct home visits following a spike in home working.
Zopa, which is planning to float on the stock market, gained a full UK banking licence in 2020. The company started as a peer-to-peer lender, but closed that arm of the group in 2021.
Helen Beurier, Zopa’s chief people officer, said: “The world of work has undergone unparalleled change, demanding greater flexibility and the increased desire to feel that our work is meaningful. Our employees now look for jobs that come with the flexibility to support their life goals.
“We believe that our employer value proposition will be a huge success, as it will enable our people to experience a full and rewarding life with incredible learning and development opportunities.”