MP: Pay-day loan firm a ‘parasite’

Date published: 02 July 2014

OLDHAM West and Royton MP Michael Meacher has branded high-interest loan company Wonga a “parasite preying on the vulnerable”.

In a scathing attack on the lender, the veteran MP said recent revelations that Wonga sent out letters from a non-existent law firm to pressurise people into repaying their debts was “despicable”, and he demanded a police investigation.

Mr Meacher said: “It is certainly not sufficient that Wonga has been forced under pressure to repay the 45,000 customers affected, when the compensation works out at only around £50 per customer.

“Worse still, Wonga charged the recipients of these fake legal letters an average of £9 each, a further total of £400,000 extracted by this rapacious firm for fabricated reasons.”

The Labour veteran went further and called for the lender to be shut down.

Mr Meacher said while Wonga was not the fundamental cause of the impoverishment that drives hundreds of thousands of persons and families to seek loans at extortionate rates of interest, but uses it to their advantage.