Remember when it used to take five days to transfer money from one account to the other? Remember all the irritated letters to TV and radio consumer programs? In 2009, the banks finally got their act together and it is now possible to transfer money on the same day. A good idea? I’d say so. However the law of unintended consequence has now kicked in with the arrival of Wonga.com.
I heard about Wonga on the radio yesterday and later saw their advert on the London Underground. Wonga are a company who will give you a short term loan and provide the money in around 15 minutes. The application is handled using the Internet via your PC or mobile phone. The customer uses a simple “slider” to select how much money they want to borrow and how long they want it for. Presumably credit checks are performed automatically and, if approved, the money is squirted into the customers bank account within minutes. A good idea? I’d say not.
The world has only just gone through a financial crisis which broke all sorts of records in all sorts of ways. The blame has been placed firmly on cheap and overly available credit. The result has been to put the western world in massive debt to a totalitarian and undemocratic Chinese regime.
While the experts rake over the details the public are disgusted by the greed of the banks and the incompetence of the organisations responsible for monitoring and controlling credit risk. Even Gordon Brown, the British chancellor on whose watch Britain’s economy was flushed down the toilet, claimed that he knew nothing of what was going on. While the world and his wife knew that anyone could get a “self certified” mortgage by lying on their application form Gordon Brown knew nothing. One wonders whether Brown knows about Wonga. Does he know that Wonga are targeting young people? Check them out on facebook and twitter.
British young people have a reputation for liking their booze. Now we have a company which is allowing them to buy credit when they’re drunk. You’re out with your mates, you’ve been in the pub all evening and now everyone is off clubbing but you’ve run out of cash. No problem, pull out your mobile and click, click, click you have £200 dumped in your bank account. What’s not to like?
Well how about a typical APR of 2,689%
Wonga is the epitome of greedy and irresponsible lending and one has to ask: Are our regulators asleep or simply stupid?
Let’s be clear who is behind these greedy, irresponsible people. Wonga list the following Joint Venture partnerships amongst their investors:
Here are the people behind each partnership. I encourage you to click on the link, view the thumbnail pictures and then Email these greedy and irresponsible people and tell them in, polite but firm terms, what you think about loan sharks. If you know them then disown them.
Sonali De Rycker
Dr. Arjang Zadeh
P.S. – I heard a guy on the radio from an organisation named Debt Wizard who seemed pretty knowledgable about all aspects of debt.
P.P.S – Here’s an interesting blog about Wonga targeting students and then lying about it.
02-04-2012 – Guardian article: Stella Creasy: ‘You can see a perfect storm coming’
01-03-2012 – Guardian article: Wonga: the real cost of a payday loan