A plan for the church to develop credit unions has been floated, with Welby proud that the church is “putting our money where our mouth is” in developing an alternative to payday money-lenders. The plan, he says, is to create “credit unions that are both engaged in their communities and are much more professional – and people have got to know about them.”
It will, he adds, be a “decade-long process”, but Welby is ready for the battle with the payday giants. “I’ve met the head of Wonga and I’ve had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly we’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence.” He flashes that smile again. “He’s a businessman; he took that well.”
that was an interview in July last year. Since then Wonga has been fingered for sending fake legal letters to 45,000 customers, and made to pay out over £2m in compensation. This morning they've just announced that pre-tax profits for 2013 fell by 53%. At this rate Wonga will be out of business before the CofEs alternative credit union scheme has even got off the ground. Welby 1 Wonga 0.