Anglicans plan to take on the money lenders
Church credit unions will compete directly with UK 'payday lenders'
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (picture: Evening Standard)
- Evening Standard reporters
- United Kingdom
- July 26, 2013
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the Church of England will "compete" payday lender Wonga* out of existence as part of plans to expand credit unions.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said he had delivered the message to Errol Damelin, chief executive of Wonga, one of Britain's best-known payday lenders, during a "very good conversation".
"I've met the head of Wonga and we 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'," he told Total Politics magazine.
"He's a businessman, he took that well."
The Archbishop's remarks come after he launched a new credit union for clergy and church staff earlier this month at the General Synod in York.
Mr Welby, who has served on the parliamentary Banking Standards Commission, has said he plans to expand the reach of credit unions as part of a long-term campaign to boost competition in the banking sector.
There are also plans to encourage church members with relevant skills to volunteer at credit unions. Small, local lenders could also be invited to use church buildings and other community locations with the help of church members.
*Note: Wonga is a market leading short term cash lender which has been criticized for its high interest rates
Source: London Evening Standard