THE Archbishop of Canterbury has called for price-comparison websites that put payday lenders at the top to be “named and shamed” for misleading customers looking for the best deal.
Archbishop Welby, a member of the parliamentary commission on banking standards, said last week that comparison sites that “misbehave” in this way should be pulled up in Parliament, be given “higher capital requirements”, and have “regulators breathing more heavily down their necks”.
He said that, although there was a place for regulation, it did not “solve everything”, and the main drivers of change were “culture, convention and condemnation by society”.
The Archbishop was speaking in an interview with Campaign for Fair Finance when he referred to his promise two years ago to “compete” payday-loan providers, such as Wonga, out of existence (News, 25 July 2013).
His promise sparked the Church of England-backed initiative #ToYourCredit, which resulted in the formation of the Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU), and the establishment of Church Credit Champions.
The champions — parishioners and clergy — are trained to lead the C of E’s charge against loan sharks through the use of affordable credit, through credit unions. They were commissioned in London earlier this month (News, 2 October).