News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Christian charities support Archbishop over payday loans

The Archbishop of Canterbury is warning the payday lender Wonga he plans to force it out of business.

Justin Welby says the Church of England will compete against it, by looking at putting credit unions on its sites.

Speaking to Total Politics magazine he said:

"I've met the head of Wonga and I've had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly we're not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we're trying to compete you out of existence."

Payday lenders give short-term loans but they come with high interest rates, and are often blamed for leading people into more debt.

Credit unions are mainly a way of saving money but they can offer loans to members however the interest rates are much more affordable.

On hearing the Archbishop's comments Wonga did release a statement to Premier. Errol Damelin, founder and CEO said:

"The Archbishop is an exceptional individual, with our discussions ranging from the future of banking and financial services to the emerging digital society.

"On his ideas for competing with us, Wonga welcomes competition from any quarter that gives the consumer greater choice in effectively managing their financial affairs."

The Archbishop's comments have received widespread support from within the Christian community.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, said:

"The Archbishop of Canterbury should be applauded for taking such a bold stance to tackle the scourge of high cost payday loan companies. "Many charge eye-watering rates of interest and drag people into a vicious spiral of debt and despair."

John Kirkby's the founder of Christians Against Poverty. He told Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour it's great to see the Archbishop speaking out.

Under the new plans church buildings could be used while expertise from members of congregations could be tapped into. Malcolm Brown is Director of the Mission and Public Affairs Division in the Church of England. He said it's a work in progress: "At this stage we're in the position of having conversations with people saying 'this sounds good to us, does it sound good to you in the credit union movement?'

"We're pressing ahead with our own credit union for clergy and staff and we're hoping this is at least a ten year strategic plan."

The Association of British Credit Unions has also given its backing and says credit unions could grow with the help of the Church.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email