Wonga losses hit £80.2m

Lender turning the corner after much criticism over charges
Lender turning the corner after much criticism over charges

Losses at Britain’s biggest payday lender Wonga have more than doubled to £80.2 million over the last year, as stricter industry regulations took their toll.

Revenues from consumer lending collapsed from £217.2 million to £77.3 million in 2015, with Wonga blaming “stricter lending criteria” and the introduction of a regulatory price cap.

The comments refer to the Financial Conduct Authority’s ruling that now requires customers to go through stricter affordability checks and the introduction of a 0.8% cap on the cost of payday loans on the amount borrowed per day.

However Andy Haste, Wonga’s chairman, was bullish.

“We expect 2016 to mark a turning point in our financial performance,” he said.

“With further funding planned for later this year, we’re now in a position to move back into growth in 2016 and expect to return to profit in 2017.”

Wonga has faced a barrage of criticism over the high interest it charges on its loans and it has been accused of targeting those who are vulnerable.

“We continued to focus on changing our culture to ensure customers are at the heart of our business, while strengthening our financial position,” Mr Haste added.