The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken on BBC Radio 4's Today programme of his "embarrassment" after it was discovered the Church of England's pension fund had indirectly invested in payday lender Wonga.
It comes a day after the Most Reverend Justin Welby told Wonga the church wants to "compete it out of existence" by supporting credit unions:
Talking about the revelation that the church's pension fund had invested in payday lender Wonga, the Most Reverend Justin Welby has said the business is "incredibly complex" and explained of a £5.5bn portfolio, £75,000 was invested indirectly in Wonga without his knowledge.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today's programme, he said: "It shouldn't have happened, it's very embarrassing but these things happen and we have to find out why."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted he is embarrassed by the revelations that the Church of England pension funds indirectly funded in online lender Wonga.
Asked by John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4 Today's programme whether he was embarrassed, he replied "yes."
Asked to place his embarrassment on a scale of one to 10, he said: "Eight."
After a national newspaper revealed the Church of England has links to pay-day lender Wonga, Lambeth Palace has responded. This follows the Archbishop of Canterbury's promise to take on pay-day lenders like Wonga.
"We are grateful to the Financial Times for pointing out this serious inconsistency of which we were unaware.
"We will be asking the Assets Committee of the Church Commissioners to investigate how this has occurred and to review the holding in this pooled investment vehicle."
"We will also be requesting the Church Commissions to investigate whether there are any other inconsistencies as normally all investment policies are reviewed by the Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG)."
The Church of England has called for an investigation into its own pension fund after The Financial Times revealed it had links to pay-day lender Wonga. It comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and former Bishop of Durham, Most Rev Justin Welby, said he wants to take on pay-day lenders.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is reported to "furious" by the BBC after it was revealed that the Church of England pension fund invests in one of Wonga’s key financial backers.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby yesterday launched an attack on the payday loan company saying he wants to "compete it out of existence" by supporting credit unions.
The Church has now launched an investigation into how it has come to invest in the company.
The Church of England’s pension fund has admitted it invests in one of Wonga’s key financial backers, the Financial Times (£) reported.
The fund invests in Accel Partners, a US venture capital firm that led the fundraising for Wonga in 2009, the report states.
A Lambeth Palace spokesperson said: “We will be asking the Assets Committee of the Church Commissioners to investigate how this has occurred and to review the holding in this pooled investment vehicle.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to take on pay-day lenders and put them out of business.
The Most Rev Justin Welby has criticised Newcastle United's primary sponsor - Wonga - for charging high rates of interest. He said the Church of England wants to "compete" it out of existence.
Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has agreed to wear the logo of sponsor Wonga on his shirt.
The 28-year-old Muslim had refused to display the pay-day loan company's branding on his kit because earning interest is forbidden by Islamic Law.
However, after several weeks of delicate negotiations, the Senegal international and the club have now found a solution and the player, who missed the club's pre-season training camp in Portugal as a result of his stance, will return to the fold.