Despite the company being challenged by Archbishop Justin Welby, who threatened to use the Church to back credit unions and “compete [Wonga] out of existence”, Sky News has reported that the site has made more than £1million per week in profits during 2012 thanks to a boost in customer numbers and international expansion.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was later left red faced as it was revealed The Church of England itself had investments in Wonga.

In response to criticism, Wonga said on its site: “Since 2007, Wonga has responsibly lent over £2bn and we now have over a million customers.

“We’ve done that despite declining three quarters of all first loan applications and ensuring a principal default rate (money lent that we don’t get back) of around 7%. This is comparable to other forms of short-term credit, such as credit cards.

“We work hard to lend only to the people who can pay us back, and our mainstream services for individuals and businesses are now available across three continents.”

It is expected that Wonga founder Errol Damelin (pictured) will continue to avoid issuing a dividend, instead using the profits to further expand the business, which saw its net profits triple to £45.8m in 2011 from £12.4m in 2010, while revenue grew to £185m.

However, a spokesman from Wonga dismissed the Sky News report of 2012’s profits as “pure speculation”.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy is currently campaigning to stop what organisers call ‘legal loansharks’ like high street cheque cashing shops and online lenders like Wonga in her #SharkStoppers campaign.  

Main image: Wonga founder Errol Damelin (via Getty)