Simon Read: How Wonga is now the UK's joint 14th largest lender

The people's champion

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The Independent Online

Look, the leading payday lender Wonga has the right to make profits. This week it revealed it trousered £62.5m last year.

That works out at around £15 profit per loan, which doesn't seem too excessive. Especially if you believe the firm when it says that most of its customers are savvy movers and shakers who are happy to pay for the convenience of having the loan of a few hundred quid to see them through to payday.

But it's the desperate folk - and there do appear to be plenty of them - who turn to high-cost lenders that tends to change your view of those profits. Making a £15 turn on someone who has been forced to borrow to buy food for their kids doesn't seem so reasonable.

The morality of payday lenders aside, I was struck by the fact that Wonga has now become the UK's joint 14th largest lender. Traditionally you think of lenders as helping people buy a home. Now, it seems, they're helping some people just to survive.

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