After a government reaction to Pay Day Lending which mirrored Macbeth’s comment on Life, ‘..full of sound and fury, signifying nothing..’ and the FCA’s extraordinary backing off from the issue ‘because it is the only way that some people can get money’, the Church has taken up cudgels.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is to make a direct attack on pay day lenders and loan sharks with a 10 year campaign to drive them out of business. The bedrock of the campaign is to support and expand the credit union movement. Small local lenders could be invited to use church buildings as branches to help them reach more people and the Church is even looking at plans to set up its’ own credit union. A church spokesman said that the plan was to ‘challenge pay day lenders through the market itself rather than through regulation and legislation.’
The press got excited recently when it was discovered that an element of the Churches investments involved a fund which had interests in Wonga, the main pay day lender. Something out of nothing really. These funds can be so complex it is hardly a great sin for the Churches’ investors not to have had knowledge of this – and they have extricated themselves swiftly. We wish them every success with their future endeavours.
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