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Wonga posts pre-tax loss of £37 million

Payday lender Wonga has reported a pre-tax loss of £37.3 million for 2014 after revenues declined by 31% on a year earlier.

Payday lender Wonga has reported a pre-tax loss of £37.3 million for 2014 Credit: PA

It slumped into the red after revenues fell by almost £100 million last year.

The firm's figures follow a significant drop in UK consumer lending while the controversial lender attempts to clean up its tarnished image.

Revenues declined to £217.2 million in the period.

We know it will take time to repair our reputation and gain an accepted place in the financial services industry, but we're determined to deliver on our plans and serve our customers in the right way.

– Wonga Executive chairman Andy Haste

Balls: 'I want Lloyds and RBS back in the private sector'

Labour's shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said he wants bailed out banks back in the private sector but would need to look more closely at a share sale.

Ed Balls: 'I want Lloyds and RBS back in the private sector'. Credit: PA

I am not going to do it by discounting the price at sale, which ends up with a big rise in prices afterwards, which means the killing goes to institutional investors and doesn't go to the tax payer and the national debt.

I hope David Cameron and George Osborne now admit they got the Royal Mail sale badly wrong. I promise you this - I will not short change the tax payer on Lloyds and RBS.

– Labour's shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

Speaking on the Murnaghan show, he said: "I want Lloyds and RBS back in the private sector to get our money back to get the national debt down. Of course I do."

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Treasury chief criticises Tory Lloyds share sell-off plan

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has criticised the Conservatives' proposal to sell shares in the bailed-out Lloyds bank.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Credit: PA

This idea is one that we have looked at several times in government... and decided against, because it's not been clear that we'd be able, through this method, to get the money back for the taxpayer.

The British people have put a lot of money and made a lot of sacrifices as a consequence of the financial crisis, and as we are able to return these banks to the private sector, people should be able to benefit.

The point I'm making about this Tory plan is, I'm not sure anyone can have any certainty it will actually happen... unless the Conservatives are saying that they'd sell these shares even if they didn't get the taxpayers' money back, and I think that would be a highly irresponsible thing to do.

– Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live

Labour: Most important thing is best value for taxpayers

Reacting to the Tories' pledge to offer cut-price Lloyds shares to small investors, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said:

The Tories have now announced this seven times.

They promised it before the last election and they're turning to it again just weeks before this election.

The most important thing is getting best value for money for the taxpayer.

That's why we have said all the proceeds from selling back the government's stakes in Lloyds and RBS should be used to repay the national debt.

– Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to Treasury

Osborne: We want to give people a stake in economy

Chancellor George Osborne says the Tories want to give more people "a stake" in the economy, as David Cameron prepares to unveil plans to offer up to £4 billion in cut-price Lloyds shares to small investors.

David Cameron: 'Another step in repairing our banks'

David Cameron has hailed the Conservatives' pledge to offer cut-price shares in Lloyds as another step towards "repairing our banks".

David Cameron has warned voters not to put the recovery at risk by voting Labour. Credit: PA Wire

The Prime Minister is expected to say today: "The £20 billion bailout of Lloyds bank by the last Labour government became a symbol of the crisis that engulfed the British economy under Labour.

"After the public bailed it out, people feared they wouldn't see their money returned. Today they are."

"Today's announcement marks another step in the long journey we have been making repairing our banks, turning our economy around and reducing our national debt, only made possible by our long-term economic plan.

Mr Cameron again issued a call to voters not to "put all that progress at risk" by voting Labour, urging Britons to choose the Tories for a "brighter, more secure future".

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Tories to promise £4bn cut-price Lloyds Bank shares

The public will be offered the chance to buy up to £4 billion worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group below market price if the Tories win the General Election, David Cameron is set to announce.

The Government has already raised £9 billion from the sale of Lloyds shares. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister will say that existing plans to sell a £9 billion tranche of the taxpayers' stake will include a "retail offer" with a proportion of the shares being reserved for sale at a discounted price.

Buyers who keep them for a year will be rewarded with a "loyalty bonus" of one additional free share for every 10 shares that they still hold.

Mr Cameron will also confirm that, with Lloyds shares closing at 78.75p on Friday, shares will be sold below the "in price" of 73.6p - a share paid by the previous Labour government when it bailed out the bank following the financial crash of 2008.

Buyers will receive a discount of at least 5% on the market price at the time of the sale, with priority being given to investors purchasing up to £1,000 worth of shares.

The minimum purchase will be £250 and there will be a maximum limit of £10,000.

Rolls Royce Emirates order 'will secure jobs across UK'

Credit: PA

At the announcement of today's multi-billion pound order for Trent jet engines from Rolls Royce, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said:

Today's announcement is significant not only because it cements the partnership between Emirates and Rolls-Royce, but also because of the significant economic impact that this will have on aviation manufacturing in the UK and Europe.

– Emirates president Sir Tim Clark

The order will secure jobs across Rolls-Royce's supply chain which stretches from Bristol in south-west England to Scotland. It will not create any new jobs, however.

Emirates also say that the deal further supports trade ties between the UK and the United Arab Emirates.

Emirates engine deal 'biggest in Rolls Royce history'

The £6.1bn deal for Rolls Royce to supply 50 engines to Dubai-based airline Emirates is the largest order in the history of the aero-engine giant, its chief-executive has announced.

Rolls-Royce chief executive John Rishton said:

We are delighted that Emirates has again placed its trust in our technology, with the biggest order in our history.

– John Rishton, Rolls Royce chief exec.

In a huge boost to UK industry, Rolls-Royce will provide Trent engines which will power 50 Airbus A380 super-jumbos that will enter service from 2016.

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