Monday, July 22, 2024

Wonga is here to stay, just not in the UK.

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(ThySistas.comYou may have heard that WDFC UK Ltd decided to put its business ‘Wonga’ into administration at the end of August 2018. This raised a myriad of questions about the fate of the payday lender internationally, with concerns expressed about possible “knock-on” effects to their brand’s presence across Europe and South Africa.

The first thing therefore that needs to be confirmed is that each of the ‘international’ Wongas are in fact totally independent of each other, there will be no adverse repercussions to Wonga anywhere except for the United Kingdom.

Wonga UK had been a very successful business since its inception in 2006. Its activities were well established, and they had gathered a solid customer base, many of whom used their services on multiple occasions. But the UK is an equal rights nation, and where this is to be admired in some cases, it also gives rise to almost paranoid recognition and fairness for ethnic equality, etc.

The extent to which this so-called “fairness” went caused bad feelings with a large proportion of the UK population – particularly amongst older age Brits. It was probably the single biggest contributor to people voting for Brexit. They felt they wanted to stop further immigration which they felt was fuelling the ethnic divide.

The British attitude of “fair play” often leads to abuse. Good examples of this are the Health and Safety legislature, and injury insurance claim fiasco.

Health and Safety gone too far

Health and Safety in the UK has in many people’s minds gone too far. Whilst there is a real need to protect the health and safety of workers, it has led to a plethora of insurance claims and legal actions for more minor complaints like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and things more difficult to assess such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The whiplash capital of Europe

As far as injury insurance is concerned, one particular accident and injury got totally out of control in terms of the number of cases being claimed – Whiplash. In fact, the UK had so many cases (many of course were fraudulent), that the legal system and government had to intervene to create a new rulebook for what proof was needed to bring a legitimate claim.

With substantially more whiplash claim being registered than any other country on the continent, the UK was christened the Whiplash capital of Europe, and rightly so.

PPI claims

Another example of this sort of feverish activity in Great Britain is the right to claim for mis-sold PPI (Personal Protection Insurance). While there are undoubtedly many justifiable claims, there are also many claims being made whereby claimants simply pretend they were sold the product without proper advice.

Aggressive claim companies seal Wonga UK’s fate

The collapse of the Wonga UK operation was due in part to something similar. The first murmurings of public discontent came a few years ago when Wonga UK used puppets of elderly people in TV advertising. While many people found the adverts amusing, some claimed that the elderly were being ridiculed.

When Wonga UK first launched, it quickly became extremely popular and won a number of awards for the services it offered. The online finance market has been a subject of controversy in recent years, culminating in the British Financial Conduct Authority introducing a number of strict rules in 2014.

This was the catalyst that led to a number of compensation claims against Wonga UK. As with the Whiplash scenario, these claims grew and grew; but with no intervention, in this case, Wonga UK was facing more frequent and larger pay-outs in compensation, regardless of whether or not the claims were justified.

Despite bail out fund-raising from shareholder Wonga UK made the decision to go into administration, ending the legacy of the UK’s most famous online lender.

Staff Writer; Lisa Brown

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