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Lender’s revenue plummets after regulation change

Lender’s revenue plummets after regulation change

Payday lender Wonga has revealed its revenues fell by nearly two-thirds in 2015, following the introduction of stricter lending criteria and a regulatory price cap.

The firm declared revenues of £77.3m for 2015, down from £217.2m in the previous year.

Andy Haste, Group Chairman of Wonga Group said: “These results are in line with the plans we put together when joining Wonga.

“They reflect a full year’s impact of the stricter lending criteria we implemented in late 2014, the price cap introduced by the UK regulator in early 2015, and the necessary investment we have made to transform the business.

“We expect 2016 to mark a turning point in our financial performance.”

Wonga also posted pre-tax losses of £80.2m, more than double the £38.1m loss made in 2014. 

The poor results follow the introduction of a lending price cap by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in January 2015.

Under the restrictions, lenders cannot charge more than 100% of what was borrowed, and default fees must not exceed £15.

However, Andy insisted the group remained optimistic about the lender’s future.

“We continued to focus on changing our culture to ensure customers are at the heart of our business, while strengthening our financial position. 

“We have embedded good governance and brought in a new, experienced leadership team, overhauled our approach to credit risk, continued to improve our relationships with key stakeholders and launched new products to meet customer demand.”

Towards the end of 2015, Wonga secured a debt facility worth approximately £23.7m, and was granted authorisation by the FCA in January 2016.

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