Jim Armitage: Chasing pesky creditors, the Wonga way


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Outlook Wonga has been keen to stress that all those involved in its phoney legal letters scam have now all gone. But that begged the question: where to?

One has resurfaced at an even bigger outfit, with what is probably an even bigger job chasing creditors.

He is John Hegarty, who was, from 2008 to September 2011 “Head of Collections and Fraud” at Wonga, where he managed, according to his online CV, “telesales, collections, debt recovery and fraud”.

Not only does his CV reveal John was brilliant in his old job, but it enthuses that while he was at Wonga “Our debt recovery rates were cited in the Financial Times as a major reason for one of the biggest rounds of VC investment in Europe in 2009.”

We all know now how those debts were recovered.

So, where is he now? Well, folks, better not be late on the quarterly gas bill. For he is these days applying his bill-chasing skills at the energy giant SSE. In his words, his job title is “Credit Risk Manager”. I think that means “making sure customers are gonna pay up”.

SSE says it does not comment on the previous employment of its staff. Meanwhile, a call to his Cardiff office was unanswered, as was our email to him.

But there’s one thing worth pointing out: as it emerged that Wonga-style letters had been used in other industries, it quickly transpired that the big energy firms had been culpable, too. All, that is, except SSE. Anything to do with you, John?