LABOUR councillors in Camden (and other parts of London) have been saying the right things about pay-day loan companies and the huge interest they set. It doesn’t take too much care to wonder whether more local credit unions would be a kinder way to help people struggling to get the bills paid.
Truth is, you can’t actually do much in London without seeing some sort of promotion for Wonga, ‘the king of the 4,000% loans’, as the Sunday Times called the company earlier this year. There are ads on the sides of buses and on the tube. Turn on the television and you will see more ads with the Wonga puppets (lovely, friendly pensioners known as Wongies just there to offer a little help…you see). And now Newcastle United will bear the company’s name on their shirt in a sponsorship deal. That’s too much for council leader Sarah Hayward.
Very disappointing that Premier League Newcastle have taken sponsorship from Wonga. Yet more baby grows with their logo on.
— Sarah Hayward (@Sarah_Hayward) October 10, 2012
Aren’t council leaders supposed to champion businesses on their patch? She could take up her frustration with the company when it comes into pay its business rates at the Town Hall. It’s not always immediately obvious but the Wonga offices – presumably where the Wongies hang out – is two joined together Regency homes in Prince Albert Road, Camden Town.
The company’s founder Errol Damelin told the Sunday Times: “Just go sit in our customer services and listen to people saying thank you for helping them pay the vet’s bill.”
Would Sarah be interested in such an invitation?