A surge in demand for quick and easy credit has resulted in an upturn in profits for the payday lender Wonga.
Net profit rose to £45.8 million last year, nearly trebling 2010's figure of £12.4 million, whilst the number of loans offered by the company quadrupled to nearly 2.5 million.
A growing number of people are turning to payday lenders for credit as a result of being turned down for standard loans and credit cards, with some even using the loans to supplement their incomes and pay the monthly bills.
Wonga has been heavily criticised for its high interest rates, of up to 4214% APR, but has maintained that its loans purely offer a service to individuals with short-term cash problems.
The company also came under fire from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) earlier this year for using aggressive debt collecting methods. Wonga defended its actions by stating that the incidents were isolated and occurred a long time ago.
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