Share

MP forces Wellcome Trust to justify Wonga investment

Stella Creasy MP
News

MP forces Wellcome Trust to justify Wonga investment2

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 14 Jun 2011

Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, has been moved to defend the charity’s recent investment in the online lender Wonga after being tackled about it by Labour MP Stella Creasy.

Sir Mark has claimed the company has a completely different business model to payday lenders, who have attracted criticism for giving sky-high interest-rate loans.

Sir Mark makes the defence in a letter to Creasy (pictured) who is leading a campaign against payday lending, after she asked Sir Mark whether the Wellcome Trust considered the wider social implications of investing in Wonga.

In the letter to Creasy, seen by civilsociety.co.uk, Sir Mark said he shared her concerns over the payday loan industry, but felt it was "misleading" to compare Wonga with payday lenders who had a completely different business model.

“We have found the company to be extremely engaging and always willing to listen to feedback,” Sir Mark said.

Creasy is leading a campaign to introduce a cap on the credit charged by high-rate lenders. This week, she is meeting Treasury ministers to discuss ways of tackling the problems associated with high-cost lending.

Creasy said: “I will be pushing for legislation introducing a range of caps on the cost of credit when I meet the Treasury minister Mark Hoban this week, and looking at what else can be done to affect the way this industry currently causes problems for people across our country.

“There is strong cross-party support for action so I will continue to press for Parliament to have the opportunity to make this happen.  Britain's consumers deserve the same protection from these exploitative practices as other consumers across the world.”

 

 

Tom Dawson
Senior Partner
Alchemy Marketing
28 Jun 2011

Whilst Stella is on her crusade to clamp down on Payday Loan Companies, might it not be a good idea for her to take her eye of the sky high interest rates of short term loans and take a look at the 'stellar' interest rates charged by banks for unauthorised overdrafts, often in the millions percent APR region?

I would rather settle for a payday loan at £25 for £100 than be charged the best part of £85 to go £25 overdrawn at my bank!

It is the lack of avcailable credit bought about by the economic disaster managed so well by David Camerons predecessor that is driving people to have to borrow from payday lenders as ther simply is no alternative.

Matt Knopp
Director
Eastside
14 Jun 2011

I live in Brixton and was sad to see more payday loan places open on the high street last year as more people struggled to keep their heads above water. However, instead of spending a lot of time bringing in legislation why can't our politicians spend more time encouraging enterprising social lenders into the marketplace with more competitive, more ethical offers. Why haven't more Credit Unions and other forms of fairer finance been more successful while payday loans taking huge fees, ripping off their customers seem to grow year on year? There must be some sort of gap between what social enterprise finance lenders offer and what the customer wants? Why else would someone pay huge sums to get money advanced? Surely it can't just be consumer ignorance and ease of access. If it is then there is a lot the government could be doing to help people manage on low incomes and build the social lending sector apart from just throwing legislation at the market.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Virgin Money Giving help raised £88.3m for charity in 2014

6 Mar 2015

Fundraisers using Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online fundraising website of Virgin Money,...

NCVO opposes IoF call to increase the maximum size of society lotteries

5 Mar 2015

NCVO has said that there is not enough evidence available to agree with the Institute of Fundraising’s...

Calls for OSCR investigation into Kiltwalk running costs

5 Mar 2015

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator should open an investigation into Scottish fundraising event...

OSCR opens consultation on new charity guidance

6 Mar 2015

The Scottish charity regulator has announced a full revision of its guidance for Scottish voluntary organisations...

'Genuine risk' of terrorism in charities but problem overstated, says report

5 Mar 2015

There is a "genuine risk" of charities being used for terrorist purposes, but that risk has been exaggerated...

Eleven per cent of Charity Commission inquiries are opened into religious charities

5 Mar 2015

Twenty-three of the 201 statutory inquiries opened into charities in the year to March 2014 focused on...

Daniel Phelan dies, aged 58

13 Feb 2015

Daniel Phelan, owner and editor-in-chief of Civil Society Media, passed away on Wednesday following a...

LinkedIn launches matching service to bring charity volunteering opportunities to 250,000 members

6 Feb 2015

Charities in the UK will be able to advertise volunteer opportunities to 250,000 LinkedIn members who...

Free guide to Bitcoin donations produced for charities

5 Feb 2015

Two Bitcoin organisations have launched a website and free guide to promote the use of the digital currency...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance