Monday 16 January 2017 3:38 pm

Wonga's hire hopes: Lender nabs Worldpay finance boss as new chief financial officer

Wonga has appointed Joanna Baker as its new chief financial officer in the hopes that she'll put the payday lender back into the black.

Baker joins from payments processing firm Worldpay, where she was chief financial officer of the UK business. She is taking over from Paul Miles, who is leaving Wonga to take up a new role at sports betting and gaming group GVC.

Baker said: “I’m delighted to be joining Wonga. I very much look forward to supporting the company’s ambitions as a responsible business in the financial services industry and building on the great work done by the new management team.”

Read more: Wonga to get a new UK boss

Wonga, which offers loans with 1,509 per cent APR, has been hammered these last two years by company restructuring costs, fee caps, and harsher lending criteria.

In December 2015, Wonga reported a pre-tax loss of £80.2m for 2015– 53 per cent higher than the year before. At the annual earning reports Andy Haste, Wonga chairman, said he hoped 2016 would be a turning point that would make this the year when the business expects to “return to profit”.

Read more: Wonga secures FCA authorisation

Since the tightening on lending practices, customer defaults fell from 6.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent.

The lender has two loan products on offer in the UK – a short-term loan and a three-month flexible payment loan that allows customers a longer payment plan.

Wonga has 500,000 customers globally, half of which are in the UK.