A businesswoman lauded by the Duchess of Sussex in Vogue magazine is a former manager of Wonga, the ‘legal loan shark’ company vilified for preying on eager borrowers, On Sunday can disclose The Email. As guest editor of the high-fashion magazine, the Duchess introduces Tessa Clarke, that has set up a food-waste app OLIO, as someone ‘you may want to know’, whom she had ‘met with discreetly last year’.
But Miss Clarke spent a season running Wonga, that was known for charging borrowers high interest rates – up to 5 staggeringly,853 % – that forced a lot of its customers deeper into debt. It isn’t known if the American Duchess has or knows even heard of Wonga. Share 13 shares But an endorsement from the Duchess could give a significant boost for OLIO, a start-up technology firm which employs just 14 people, according to company documents filed in February. It was in July 2013 that Clarke – then known as Cook – joined the Wonga group as managing director of PayLater, which provided a product similar to bank cards.
During her year in the post, Wonga was lending more than £1 billion a yr and arriving under intense scrutiny from regulators for rates of interest of 5,853 %. The business was peddling ‘pay day’ loans that were typically paid back within a month – with significant interest charges, such as £33.49 for a £150 loan over 18 times just.
Wonga’s loans were described by one MP as a ‘toxic form …