Iceland Boss Takes Business Away from Loan Sharks During Christmas Season


Apology to Loan Sharks

Iceland boss Richard Walker has playfully taunted loan sharks by apologizing for taking business away from them during the profitable Christmas period. In a video posted on social media, Walker warned lenders that their Christmas may not be as lucrative as they had hoped.

Successful Micro-Loan Scheme

Iceland launched a micro-loan scheme last year to help families ease financial pressure during Christmas. The scheme offers interest-free micro-loans to hard-pressed families, allowing them to spread the cost of their seasonal treats. According to Walker, the scheme has been highly successful, with 71% of users stating that it made them less likely to fall into debt or miss bill payments.

Protecting Vulnerable Consumers

Walker emphasized the importance of micro-credit, especially during Christmas, in protecting vulnerable consumers from loan sharks. The supermarket's Food Club has lent a total of £7.2 million to 28,000 customers since its launch in 2022.

Illegal Moneylending in the UK

Fair4All Finance, a not-for-profit firm, estimates that over three million people in the UK have borrowed from illegal moneylenders in the last three years. Iceland's micro-loan scheme aims to provide a safe and affordable alternative to these illegal practices.

Anglo American Shares Plummet as Cost-Cutting Plans are Revealed

Drastic Cost-Cutting

Shares in mining giant Anglo American took a hit, plummeting around 15% after the company announced its cost-cutting plans. The company plans to slash production at its iron ore operations in South Africa and its Chile copper mine in order to save £1.5 billion by 2026. Since January, shares have dropped by 42%.

Berkeley Group Warns of Subdued Home Sales in Challenging Market

Decrease in Reservations

Homebuilder Berkeley Group has issued a warning that home sales will "remain subdued" due to a challenging market. The company reported a drop of one-third in reservations over the past six months as it completed fewer homes. Rivals in the industry have also expressed concerns about the market, citing soaring interest rates as a contributing factor.