SAN FRANCISCO — The nation's financial meltdown has apparently struck another victim, the U.S.-launched social lending venture Zopa, which was started a year ago with six participating credit unions as an innovative way to reach the youth market.

"Yes, we have altered loan procedures with our U.S. credit union partners as we found the ratio of suitable applicants to loans very challenging," declared Douglas Dolton, Global CEO of Zopa, the United Kingdom lender which has maintained its U.S. base here.

Dolton, who stressed the Zopa Web site remains intact and actively usable by consumers, told Credit Union Times that under policies started this week loan applications once processed by Zopa will now be routed online "directly to our credit union partners."

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