Wonga musts be hurting... (Hurrah!)
PAYDAY lender Wonga is at last being forced to clean up its act. The company announced this week that it was writing off £220 million worth of customer debt in a desperate bid to strengthen affordability checks and ensure sustainable lending.
Following discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Wonga.com, the UK consumer loans business of Wonga Group, will introduce a new customer forbearance programme with the aim of addressing issues of affordability and repeat borrowing.
330,000 customers who are in arrears of 30 days or more have had their debts written off and a further 45,000 will be asked to repay their debt without interest and charges; with the option of paying off their debt over an extended period of four months. Affected Wonga customers will be notified by 10 October.
Wonga's chairman Andy Haste, who joined the company in July, said a review of lending practices had shown the need for change at Wonga was "real and urgent", and new stricter lending criteria would mean "accepting far fewer applications from new and existing customers".