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And Wonga respond!

Written by Ashwin Rattan Thursday, 02 August 2012 21:44
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In a world first for Searching Finance, an actual real life comment, by a real person was posted to our site (as opposed to Viagra salesmen, offers of SEO work and acres of info, ironically enough, on payday loans).

 

The editor of OpenWonga, who from tweets comes across as an affable enough sort, writes:

 

Carl, we're a private company with many competitors but we've always been as transparent as we can about us and our customers.

 

Here are some statistics: http://www.openwonga.com/statistics


In response to Carl's previous article:

 

Wonga chief executive Errol Damelin was the subject of an interview with the Guardian's deputy editor Ian Katz recently.


Once referred to as "ice-cool" by the Telegraph for his marathon runs in the antarctic, he felt the heat after being asked one particular question.


The question regarded who it is Wonga lends to, and whether they are all tech-savvy, median income professionals who are just a bit hard up from time to time.


The question regards previous exposure of the company. In March this year, Amelia Gentleman requested from Wonga some examples of good loans made by the company. Wonga showcased Susan.


Susan, an unemployed nurse, had taken out half a dozen loans from the company to pay for bills and food. Not only will Susan's income be significantly less than that of the average borrower, she's also taken out nearly double the average amount of payday loans a borrower takes out in a year (which is 3.5).


It says a lot about the desperation of some, like Susan, who take out expensive loans just to eat and be warm, but it also says something about Wonga.


The problem is Wonga won't share borrower demographics, on the grounds of commercial sensitivity, so we are unable to see how often this happens.

But if Susan is an example of Wonga's success, then many more questions ought to be being asked of them.


Carl has since responded (11.15PM 3rd August):

 

I've seen Wonga stats, but nothing with income demographics.

 

That's the bone of contention.

 

Not whether they have bank accounts, but the responsibility angle.

 

How many more Susan's are out there?

Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2012 22:18

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