Hard to be sure of ethical investments, says Bishop of Oxford

Rt Rev John Pritchard

Rt Rev John Pritchard

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

ETHICAL purity when it comes to financial investments is “hard to achieve” in the modern day, the Bishop of Oxford has claimed.

His comments follow an announcement that the Church of England will sever all ties with payday loan company Wonga.

Rt Rev John Pritchard told the Oxford Mail: “I’m delighted that the Church of England has been able to sort out this anomaly.

“The problem is that with the multi-layered complexity of financial investments today it’s hard to achieve the ethical purity any of us may seek.

“However, we’ve been able to do it and continue the programme of encouraging credit unions rather than pay day loan companies which, as we know, can drive poorer families to despair.”

On Thursday, the Church of England released a statement to say it had withdrawn all its investment in Wonga and would be focusing on funding its own rival credit provider, the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union.

It is also expected to bring in tighter controls on its venture capital scheme as a result of criticisms made when it first emerged that it had holdings in Wonga.

That prompted the admission from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby that the association was “embarrassing”.

 

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