Wonga collapses into administration – BBC News

Wonga collapses into administration – BBC News

These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Alamy Payday lender Wonga has announced its intention to go into administration after losing its battle to stay afloat.
The company said in a statement that it had assessed all options and had decided that administration was the appropriate route.
It had already stopped accepting new loan applications as it fought to stave off collapse.
Its demise in the UK follows a surge in compensation claims amid a government clampdown on payday lenders.
Grant Thornton will be acting as administrators.
In a statement Wonga said: “Customers can continue to use Wonga services to manage their existing loans but the UK business will not be accepting any new loan applications. Customers can find further information on the website. I have a Wonga loan, will this be written off?
Unfortunately for you, the repayments will still have to be made.
Although this will be overseen by the administrators – in the short-term at least – there is no practical difference in the way that these payments are made.
A service will continue for anyone who needs help, and anyone struggling to repay can still get in touch, and can also contact debt charities such as Citizens Advice or StepChange for free advice.
Read more answers to your questions here
“Wonga’s overseas businesses continue to trade and are not part of this announcement.”
The City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said: “The FCA will continue to supervise Wonga once it is in administration and is in close contact with the proposed administrators with regard to the fair treatment of customers.
“Customers should continue to make any outstanding payments in the normal way. All existing agreements remain in place and will not be affected by the proposed administration. However, the firm is no longer able to issue new loans.”
Wonga, which was the UK’s biggest payday lender, had faced criticism for its high-cost, short-term loans, seen as targeting the vulnerable. Image caption James Ball was a Wonga customer
Among those who used its services at its height was journalist James Ball, now aged 32. He said Wonga made it easy to get a loan when he was young and prone to overspending.
But he said that it was also convenient for him to borrow when he was struggling with student debts and commuting costs among other bills.
“I am absolutely not looking for sympathy,” he said.
In 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority found that Wonga’s debt collection practices were unfair and ordered it to pay £2.6m to compensate 45,000 customers. What’s gone wrong with Wonga?
Since then, payday loan companies have faced tougher rules and have their charges capped.
This hit Wonga’s profits hard. In 2016, it posted pre-tax losses of nearly £65m, despite claiming its business had been “transformed”.
It continued to face legacy complaints and was forced to seek a bailout from its backers in August amid a surge in claims.
It was a huge fall from grace for Wonga, which in 2012 was touted to be exploring a US stock market flotation that would have valued it at more than $1bn (£770m). Analysis: Kevin Peachey, personal finance reporter
Wonga never considered itself to be a payday lender, preferring instead to describe itself as a maverick technology company that happened to sell loans.
Its technology was groundbreaking, allowing the smartphone generation to choose how much they wanted to borrow with the slide of a thumb.
That convenience, matched with a huge advertising campaign featuring amusing puppets and upbeat voiceovers, proved a hit. At the height of its success in 2013, Wonga had a million customers.
But Mick McAteer, founder of the not-for-profit Financial Inclusion Centre, said this demand was a bubble: “They were flogging [credit] and they created demand for it.”
In other words, some borrowers simply did not need to borrow from a payday lender, but were attracted towards these high-cost, short-term loans anyway. Read Kevin’s piece in full here
The collapse spells the end of a rags to riches to rags story of a company that was vilified for its conduct when lending to people who could not afford to repay.
The market has changed as a result of the FCA’s crackdown, and thousands of former customers have sought compensation.
Anyone awaiting compensation payments from Wonga is now likely to be in the queue for a payout from the sale of any assets.
Many have said they will not mourn the loss of Wonga.
Guy Anker, deputy editor of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “Payday loans are hideously expensive and morally questionable products – and many have been mis-sold to vulnerable customers. They should only be seen as a loan of absolute last resort.
“So to have one fewer payday loan lender – and Wonga was a biggie – is positive for consumers, but of course is very sad for the staff who will have lost their jobs.” Related Topics

Read More…

Endangered olive ridley sea turtles found dead off Mexico – News

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Mexican navy sent a boat to investigate what may have killed the turtles Fishermen in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca have found about 300 dead sea turtles entangled in fishing nets.
The find comes just days after another 102 olive ridley turtles were found dead in neighbouring Chiapas state.
Olive ridley turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches of a number of Mexican states between May and September, are considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
The cause of their death is still under investigation.
‘Punk turtle’, put on endangered species list Sliced’ sea turtle found dead on Singapore beach It is not clear whether they got caught in the nets while still alive or were already dead when they became entangled.
Image copyright AFP Image caption The olive ridley turtles come to Mexico’s Pacific beaches to lay their eggs Experts say they could have been killed by harmful algae, fish hooks or could have suffocated while trapped in the nets.
Mexico banned the capture of sea turtles in 1990 and there are stiff penalties for anyone killing them.
A specialised federal attorney is investigating the case.

Read More…

Woman in deadly crash had brakes cut for crack pipe

U.S. news Woman in fatal car crash had brakes cut for crack pipe The suspect allegedly told troopers that he didn’t want to go to the store for a pipe, so he started “hacking away” underneath the vehicle. by Associated Press / Aug.30.2018 / 11:47 AM ET Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. SUBSCRIBE
SCRANTON, Pa. — Police in Pennsylvania say a man who cut his girlfriend’s brake lines trying to get piece of pipe for crack smoking faces homicide charges after she lost control of the car, crashed into a tree and died.
John Jenkins, of Dunmore, is being held without bail in the Aug. 22 death of 38-year-old Tammy Fox.
A witness says the car was traveling about 60 mph and the brake lights flashed, but it never slowed down before the crash.
According to court documents, Jenkins told police Fox was “driving him crazy” because she was looking for a pipe to smoke crack in.
He allegedly told troopers he didn’t want to go to the store for a pipe, so he started “hacking away” underneath Fox’s vehicle to get something she could use.
No attorney information is available. Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. SUBSCRIBE

Read More…

Clock changes: EU backs ending daylight saving – BBC News

Why do many dislike Europe’s daylight saving time?
Some studies cited by the Commission point to adverse health impacts from the clock changes.
“Findings suggest that the effect on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought,” it says.
Clocks go forward by an hour on the last Sunday in March and switch back to winter time on the last Sunday in October.
Finland called for daylight saving to be abolished EU-wide, after a petition gathered more than 70,000 signatures from citizens calling for such a change.
The EU made the spring/autumn clock change the rule in all member states in 1996, based on the argument that it would reduce energy costs. But the Commission says the data on energy-saving is inconclusive.
There is also no reliable evidence that the clock changes reduce traffic accidents, the Commission says. What are the EU’s current time zones?
There are three standard time zones: Three states apply GMT (the UK, Ireland and Portugal) 17 have Central European Time, which is GMT+1 Eight have Eastern European Time, which is GMT+2
The current seasonal clock changes are controversial partly because there is a big difference in daylight hours experienced by Scandinavia and by southern Europe.
Nordic countries have long, dark nights in winter and short nights in summer. The pattern in the south is more even across the seasons.
There are anomalies too. For example, neighbours Portugal and Spain are in different time zones, as are Sweden and Finland. What is the situation in the UK?
The UK adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1916, along with many other nations involved in World War One, in order to conserve coal.
It followed years of pressure from William Willett , a great-great-grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin.
But the UK has had its own debate about time zones.
In 2011, the government proposed a three-year trial of moving to Central European Time, so the time would be GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer.
The change would have meant lighter evenings but darker mornings, and one of the arguments was that it would reduce accidents. But it was abandoned after opposition from Scotland and northern England, where some areas would not have seen daylight until 10am under the proposal.
Do you live in Scandinavia or southern Europe? What is your reaction to the proposals? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your views.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285

Read More…

Carl Bernstein: Trump attacks ‘degenerate’ Watergate reporter – BBC News

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy @carlbernstein , a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News Report End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump
Mr Bernstein, a famed journalist who covered the Watergate scandal during the Nixon presidency, responded saying he stands by his reporting. Skip Twitter post by @carlbernstein . @realdonaIdtrump – I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties. No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. @CNN stands by its story, and I stand by my reporting. Report End of Twitter post by @carlbernstein
The story in question had quoted sources as saying that Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, was ready to testify that Mr Trump was aware of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr and Russians who said they had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Who’s who in Russia-Trump inquiry?
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, revealed on Monday that he was CNN’s source and has since recanted his statement.
CNN has stood by the story and Mr Bernstein, tweeting at the president: “Make no mistake, Mr President, CNN does not lie.” Skip Twitter post by @CNNPR Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them. Report End of Twitter post by @CNNPR

Read More…