Church of England to investigate pension fund

The Church of England is to launch an investigation into its own pension fund after the Financial Times uncovered that it had ties to payday lender Wonga.

According to the church, the total amount of exposure to Wonga is £75,000 and the investment in the fund came about through commitments made to a venture capital fund in 2004 and 2007.

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson said: “We are grateful to the Financial Times for pointing out this serious inconsistency of which we were unaware.

“We will be asking the assets committee of the church commissioners to investigate how this has occurred and to review the holding in this pooled investment vehicle.

“We will also be requesting the church commissioners to investigate whether there are any other inconsistencies [because] normally all investment policies are reviewed by the Ethical Investment Advisory Group.”

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Ian Cormican, partner at law firm Sackers, added: “The church is caught between a rock and a hard place. 

“A pension trustee’s primary role is to invest in the best financial interests of members, with ethical issues generally a secondary consideration, although the two are not irreconcilable.”