MANILA – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered three online lending operators to cease lending activities without the necessary Commission approval and to stop employing abusive collection practices.
In an order issued on April 26, the commission en banc ordered Golden Cash, Help Cash and Grace Cash to immediately cease and desist from engaging in, performing, promoting and facilitating any activity/transaction of ready until they have obtained the necessary registration and license. of the commission.
Owners, operators, promoters, representatives and agents of online lending operators have also been ordered to stop engaging in unfair debt collection practices, as defined in SEC Memorandum No. 18, Series of 2019 (MC 18).
The commission also ordered online lending operators to stop offering and advertising their lending business via the internet or any other media, and to remove material implicating them.
The SEC issued the order after finding that Golden Cash, Help Cash and Grace Cash are not registered as companies with the Commission. As such, they cannot obtain a certificate of authority to operate as a loan/finance company.
Republic Act No. 9474, or the Credit Company Regulation Act of 2007 (LCRA), requires persons or entities operating as loan companies to register as companies and obtain SEC l necessary authorization to operate.
“(T)he Commission finds that the continuation of the activities of Golden Cash, Help Cash and Grace Cash constitutes a clear violation of the (LCRA) and should be sanctioned under the (LCRA) because it engages or exercises lending activity without the required license from the commission,” the en banc commission said.
Findings from the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) revealed that online lending operators were engaging in unfair collection practices, prohibited by MC 18.
SIFT said online lending operators harass, threaten, publicly humiliate their respective borrowers and charge hidden fees and excessive processing fees.
“The acts of these unregistered online lending operators of illegally offering and providing loans to the public, charging high interest rates and subjecting its debtors to unfair treatment through abusive language and even defamatory in the collection of the amount lent…have no place in a society that is governed by and faithfully adheres to positive laws,” the SEC en banc said.
To view the list of approved loan and finance companies and their registration status, please visit the Loan and Finance Company Corner on the SEC website at https://www.sec.gov.ph/ lending-companies-and-financing-companies-2/lending-companies-and-financing-companies/. (PR)