Business Loan Service Launched By Wonga
|High cost loan vendor Wonga has announced plans for the launch of a new business load services with a promise to make funds available within 15 minutes of an application.
Loans of £3,000 to £10,000 will be available for terms of between one and 52 weeks. The cost, including a variable application fee and interest, starts at 0.3% a week and the loans must be repaid in weekly instalments.
Wonga is entering the business loan market at a time when firms are struggling to raise funding. Research in November by the Federation of Small Businesses showed that 57% of firms suffered late payment by clients but between 2007 and 2010 there was a 24% fall in successful loan applications.
The shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, criticised the government for failing to get banks to lend more to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). "That SMEs are being driven into the hands of Wonga is a damning indictment of the government's failure to get finance to successful SMEs," he said.
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Wonga was reluctant to quote a typical annual percentage rate, or APR, for loans, saying the measure was inappropriate as they could be taken out for as little as a week. The firm has been heavily criticised for lending to individuals at an APR of 4,214%, but claims business loans will be at rates starting at 17% APR.
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