Archbishop of Canterbury admits Church of England has failed to sell Wonga stake

The Church of England indirectly invested £75,000 in pay day lender Wonga

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The Independent Online

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that the Church of England has failed to sell off its stake in pay day lender Wonga.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that a review into the Church's investments had been completed but the final details on how to dispose of £80,000 in shares are yet to be decided.

He said: "They are working out how they can dispose of those shares without disposing of millions and millions of pounds of investment at a loss because they have a responsibility to pensioners."

His remarks come after it emerged that the Church of England, which claims to have an ethical investment policy, indirectly invested £75,000 in Wonga through Accel Partners, a US venture capital firm which fundraised for the company in 2009.

This after the Archbishop himself vowed to compete the pay day lender "out of existence" through the creation of credit unions. He later admitted the he was "embarrassed" and "irritated" by the revelations.

During the conversation, the Archbishop also spoke about Pope Francis, describing him as "an extraordinary man", "hugely effective" and "quite brilliant".

The Archbishop praised his humble ways and simple lifestyle, claiming that the Pope has changed the direction and sense of purpose of the Catholic Church.

When asked if the Holy Father deserved to be named 'Person of the Year' by TIME magazine, he replied: "I would certainly put him as my person of the year, well, I probably have several but if you wanted one, he is probably there, yes. He is extraordinary."