‘The meetings took place at the Tory Party conference last week despite the new party chairman, Grant Shapps, previously describing the activities of some payday lenders as “obscene”.
A Cabinet source privately admitted that “moneymaking” was a key goal of this year’s conference, with companies paying thousands for exhibition stands and events. Controversially, business executives were charged £1,250 for face-to-face meetings with ministers at which they were invited to help “develop” business-friendly policies. Wonga confirmed it had sent a representative to meetings with ministers from the Department for Business and the Treasury.
Payday loans firms have been described as “legal loan sharks” for preying on the poorest workers who cannot make their income stretch from one pay cheque to another. The lenders are worried that the Government or financial regulators will cap the interest rates they charge, which can add up to 4,000 per cent a year.’