(corrects story label to read WONGA instead of WONGA-FINE, no change to text)
LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - Britain’s financial watchdog said payday lender Wonga has agreed to pay 2.6 million pounds ($4.4 million) to about 45,000 customers for unfair debt collection practices, including sending bogus letters from non-existent law firms.
The Financial Conduct Authority said the failings took place between October 2008 and November 2010 and said the unfair and misleading debt collection practices put customers under great pressure to make loan repayments that many could not afford.
Wonga is the biggest short-term lender in Britain and has come under fire, along with the industry as a whole, for the high level of interest rates it charges. ($1 = 0.5892 British Pounds) (Reporting by Steve Slater, editing by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Kirstin Ridley)