Archbishop declares war on Newcastle United sponsors Wonga

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

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THE Archbishop of Canterbury has warned payday lender Wonga that the Church of England will “compete” it out of existence.

The former Bishop of Durham, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, plans to expand credit unions to offer direct competition to booming pay-day lenders, including the Newcastle United FC sponsor.

Archbishop Welby said he recently had a “very good conversation” with Wonga chief executive Errol Damelin.

He added: “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.”

Archbishop Welby, who served on the parliamentary Banking Standards Commission, launched a credit union for clergy and church staff earlier this month and has said he plans to expand credit unions in the long-term.

This comes after an investigations by the Competition Commission under covered “deep-rooted” problems in the industry’s competition.

Wonga founder Mr Damelin said: “We always welcome fresh approaches. I’m all for better consumer choice.”