The Money Lenders Association (MLA), has said that the body is fully in support of the recent update by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), aimed at ensuring ethical operations in digital lending in Nigeria.
The association in a statement said, they empathises with members of the public on the activities of some of these unlicensed and illegal digital lenders and wholeheartedly support the measures by FCCPC, to sanitise and safeguard people from online fraud and unethical practices and foster a reliable digital environment, especially at this crucial time in the economy of our Nation.
It added. “The Association advises the general public to exercise caution when applying for loans online, and ensure they only deal with licensed and approved Digital Money Lenders (DML). MLA condemns in its entirety, this unprofessional act perpetrated by some unscrupulous lending organisations (not our members). Money Lenders Association is duly incorporated under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with its primary objective being the advancement of the money lending industry, and safeguarding the interests of the public and customers using our lending platforms.
“The Association actively collaborates with FCCPC and the Government to address the practical challenges faced by members of the public and our members, in their daily operations.
As part of our commitment to ethical practices, members of our Association adhere to a comprehensive Code of Practice which facilitates self-regulation of our activities, to ensure compliance with FCCPC and Government regulations, in order to promote trust and confidence. We once again enjoin the general public to be careful and carry out their KYC on Digital Lenders before applying for loans.”
The body said the public needs to be careful of “too good to be true” offers from these unscrupulous operators.
“Any Lender promising the approval of loan requests without a background analysis, is definitely a red flag. Other key pointers to look out for include;
1. Physical Location: It is important to know that your Digital Lender has a physical location where the business is registered or where the company operates from. This information can be available on the Lender’s website.
2. Approved Digital Money Lenders. Consumers are encouraged to consider only licensed and approved Digital Money Lenders by the Government and FCCPC. Check the FCCPC’s website for the list of approved Digital Lenders and the Lender’s website (If there is one) to ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate provider.
3. Security deposit is a No-No-No!!!. A Lender asking for a security deposit or a substantial payment before the loan application is considered is definitely fraudulent. Any Lender asking the Borrower to pay a substantial amount i.e. Bond or security deposit before an application is considered, is definitely a red flag. Borrowers Beware!
“Web Visibility – Most reputable DMLs are visible on the web. Most Digital Lenders are visible on Social Media. The Lender will generally have a website and customised email for communication and information. Lenders using general email addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo, etc may also be a red flag. Borrowers need to be careful before providing their details to such companies. Google Playstore /Apple Store – The general public should be careful of using “apk loan links” from unsolicited Telesales Agents, to apply for loans. For your mobile app loan applications, the Association only recommends the use of apps published on Google Playstore/Apple store.
“Read reviews from previous or existing customers of the Digital Money Lenders before deciding to apply for loans with such Lenders. The review of the mobile application may reveal to you whether the Lender is legitimate or not. It is recommended, for extra security, to download the mobile application of your intended Lender, from the App Store and not directly from the website of the intended Lender.”