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.

Charities criticise civil society minister for talking 'total nonsense' about grant funding

27 May 2016

Sector bodies have criticised minister for civil society Rob Wilson for talking "total nonsense" about...

Vital work of charities damaged by fundraising, says Charity Commission chair

26 May 2016

The “vital work” of charities has been damaged by aggressive fundraisers at some charities which had...

Report: 'Lotteries outperform door-to-door and face-to-face on attrition'

25 May 2016

Direct debit lotteries are performing “much better in terms of attrition” than door to door and private...

Oxfam director attacks Acevo and NCVO for 'toothless' response to public criticism of charities

27 May 2016

Bodies like Acevo and NCVO have failed to provide proper leadership and lacked a concerted response in...

Cabinet Office advertises for new Charity Commission board members

27 May 2016

The Cabinet Office has advertised for three new board members for the Charity Commission and reappointed...

Vital work of charities damaged by fundraising, says Charity Commission chair

26 May 2016

The “vital work” of charities has been damaged by aggressive fundraisers at some charities which had...

Facebook looking to make ‘donate’ button available to UK charities this year

23 May 2016

Facebook is looking to roll-out its ‘donate’ button feature to all charity pages at some point this...

Blue Cross, Mary's Meals and Barbican start to fundraise with contactless technology

20 May 2016

The Blue Cross, Mary’s Meals and the Barbican are the latest charities to trial the use of contactless...

Charities need to address digital skills gap or they will lose beneficiaries

6 May 2016

Charities must improve their digital offering or lose beneficiaries, the chief executive of Parkinson’s...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance