Reviled payday lender Wonga has removed its branding from football club Newcastle United’s children’s replica kit after concern from MP’s that the association was targeting children with the wrong messages. The company claim that the U-turn is consistent with their being “a responsible lender” It is thought that football clubs are not always too ethically fussy about where their sponsorship money comes from.
Part of Wonga’s “responsible lending” was the recent sending of fake legal letters to its customers, to encourage them to pay interest rates of more than 5,000% APR. A succession of bosses at the firm have failed to clean up its image and in December the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) belatedly clamped down on all payday lenders with tough new rules expected to drive most of them out of business.
A Private Eye cartoon Christmas card in 2014 featured a “payday lender advent calendar ” showing huge increases in the original £20 debt owed as the daily windows were opened, with such helpful and responsible advice as “Oh dear, now it’s £320”, “Jees it’s £640” and “£1280 You should have read the small print”