Jennette Arnold slams London Mayor’s legal loan shark sponsorship
Hackney’s London Assembly member Jennette Arnold has described London Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to accept sponsorship from a high interest loan company as shameful.
Each year, Transport for London (TfL) seeks support for the provision of free travel on New Year’s Eve - and this year one of the sponsors is Wonga.com - a loans company offering cash at an APR interest rate of 2689 per cent.
Wonga.com posters declaring “sometimes you need some extra cash” have been seen across London’s transport network.
Jennette Arnold, North East London Assembly member said: “Plastering London transport with offers of easy money at a time of year when people are at their most vulnerable, is just shameful.
“I find it hard to believe that a legal loan shark waving money in people’s faces at extortionate rates were the only company willing to provide sponsorship.
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“These legal loan sharks prey on the vulnerable and have no place in our city.”
Wonga is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading and regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
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A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “TfL are entitled to seek sponsorship from any legal UK company who has made money through legitimate means.
“However the Mayor would advise Londoners to always be careful if borrowing money and to be particularly cautious of punitive interest rates.”
Errol Damelin, founder and CEO of Wonga.com, said: “Wonga is totally transparent about how we operate and how we charge for the short-term loans we provide.
“We are highly selective about who we lend to and our customers are web-savvy and typically earn national-average wage.
“We provide a transparent, flexible and short-term alternative to get people from A to B in urgent situations and our customers tell us they prefer to use Wonga over mainstream alternative sources of finance available to them.”