Debt collection practices labelled "unfair" and "misleading" by one of the UK's biggest pay-day lenders is proof Britain needs to rid itself of so-called 'legal loan sharks', Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has said.

Between 2008 and 2010 money lender Wonga sent out almost 45,000 threatening letters to customers in arrears from fake law firms that did not exist.

The letters gave the "misleading" impression that outstanding debts had been passed on to a law firm or third party with the "threat of adverse consequences" if debts were not repaid quickly, including customers being charged administration fees to send out the letters.

Wonga has now been landed with a £2.6 million compensation bill after Watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCU) investigated.

Wonga said: "We apologise unreservedly to all of our customers."

For more on this story buy next week's Waltham Forest Guardian and Chingford Guardian - out on Thursday.