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Wonga and Newcastle United agree to remove logo on some kit

Wonga Group ('Wonga') has announced that it has been agreed with Newcastle United to remove the Wonga logo from all children's replica shirts and training wear from the earliest possible opportunity which, owing to kit production schedules, will be from the start of the 2016/17 Season.

This follows Wonga Chairman Andy Haste's commitment, on his appointment in July, to review all the company's marketing to ensure that none of it could inadvertently appeal to the very young or vulnerable.

Wonga has already ended its 'puppets' advertising campaign.

As a responsible lender we believe removing our logo from children's replica shirts and training wear is the right thing to do.

We appreciate the Club’s support in this matter.

– Darryl Bowman, Wonga Marketing Director

We understand and respect Wonga's position and are happy to support their decision.

– Newcastle United Managing Director Lee Charnley

Wonga to write off 330,000 customer loans following watchdog's concerns

Wonga is writing off a number of loans Credit: PA

The money-lending firm Wonga, the current shirt sponsors of Newcastle FC, has agreed to write off the debts of more than three hundred thousand customers. It follows a review from the financial watchdog which requires the firm to make significant and immediate changes to its business. The decision means that 330, 000 people who are currently in 30 days of arrears with Wonga which have the balance of their loan written off and will owe the company nothing.

Meanwhile, around 45,000 customers who are up to 29 days in arrears will be asked to repay their debt without interest and charges and will be given an option of paying off their debt over an extended period of four months.

Wonga's new chairman has spoken about the move, confirming that it comes following concerns from the Financial Conduct Authority.

"We want to ensure we only lend to those who can reasonably afford the loan in question and during my review, it became clear to me that this has unfortunately not always been the case. I agreed with the concerns expressed by the FCA and as a consequence of our discussions we have committed to taking these actions."

– Andy Haste, Wonga

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Payday lenders 'must focus on customer welfare'

Citizens Advice's chief executive Gillian Guy said payday lenders must focus on customer welfare, not profits, after Wonga released strong figures today.

Payday lenders' profits come directly from the pockets of consumers, many of whom turn to them out of desperation rather than choice.

The payday loans industry must focus on boosting customer welfare, rather than boosting profits at the expense of hard-pressed householders who struggle to pay back unaffordable loans.

Our evidence shows persistent, deep-rooted problems with the way payday lenders treat their customers, so we want to see lenders’ focus shift from increasing profits even further to looking at how they can tackle their customers’ complaints and become more responsible lenders.

Consumers are already bombarded with glossy payday loan adverts which mask the misery of a life in debt. We want people to fight back and report irresponsible and misleading adverts as well as fighting irresponsible lenders.

– Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice
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Church 'committed' to credit union but not before 2014

The Church of England said it was "committed to exploring" a credit union scheme but warned it would not be in place until 2014 at the earliest.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he wanted to compete Wonga out of business by developing the Church's own credit business.

The Church of England is committed to exploring the potential of credit unions.

As part of that process we are supporting the dedicated group of church members who are working with the Church of Scotland towards establishing the Churches Mutual Credit Union.

The process is necessarily detailed and it is unlikely to be established before Autumn 2014 at the earliest but this is one of many initiatives at a local and national level which shows the Church responding to need in a time of austerity.

– A Church of England spokesperson
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Wonga profits surge as customer numbers swell

Payday lender Wonga has reported surging profits as its number of customers swelled to more than one million.

  • Profits after tax rose 36% to £62.5 million during 2012 - the equivalent of more than £1 million a week.
  • Revenues surged 67% to £309.3 million.
  • The controversial online lender lent £1.2 billion in the year, a rise of 68%.

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Cisse agrees to wear Wonga branded shirt

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse has agreed to wear the club's Wonga branded shirt Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse has reportedly agreed to wear a shirt which bears the club's primary sponsor Wonga.

The Senegal international had refused to wear the jersey displaying the pay-day lender's logo on religious grounds, as earning interest is forbidden by Islamic Law. The 28-year-old even pulled out of the club's pre-season tour of Portugal over the issue.

However, it's understood that after weeks of negotiations the club and Cisse have reached a resolution, with the player finally agreeing to wear the shirt.

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