CEM REPORT, FINANCE | The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) had said deleted loan apps from the Google Play store and existing ones that failed to meet the registration deadline would be registered and restored if they were able to justify why they failed to register before the deadline.
The commission said loan apps that fall into the above category would pay a late processing fee for their application to be considered.
This is as the FCCPC announced the resumption of registration of digital money lenders (loan apps) which closed on March 27, 2023.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer, of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement.
“With respect to businesses that existed, and or were taken down by Google Play store, or ceased transaction processing or termination services by payment systems or gateways, the Commission will only consider and process such applications (whether currently received and pending before the Commission or otherwise) upon a statement of justification that sufficiently articulates an acceptable reason or justification for failing to conclude or complete the registration before the expiration of the previously set deadline,” Irukera said in a public notice released by the Commission.”
Furthermore, the commission said new companies have ventured into the digital money lending business and require registration.
“Since acceptance and processing of registration closed, the Commission has continued to be inundated with requests for registration, approval, or clearance by both then existing platforms that failed to timely comply with the mandatory deadlines, and new businesses seeking to commence operations.
“Accordingly, while the Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Task Force (JRETF) continues the work of developing a more robust, comprehensive, and enduring digital lending regulatory framework, the Commission will resume receiving and approving eligible DML applications (new and previously inexistent businesses) and requests (including those already received and pending) under, and per the Guidelines and existing process.”
Financial institutions that are licensees and subject to the regulatory oversight of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are exempt from registration, according to the statement, and may obtain the required approval through a written request seeking a waiver by demonstrating such exemption, including evidence of CBN licensure
The commission observed that there had been a reduction in consumer privacy violations as well as unexplained charges associated with loans.
The statement noted that the FCCPC and JRETF would continue to monitor the market and enforce the law concerning digital lending.
Recall that CEM reported on the registration of 180 registered loan apps in the country.
Of the 180 registered and approved by the Commission, 132 were given full approval, while 48 were given conditional approval as they have other conditions to fulfil.
The FCCPC said registration became necessary as a result of unsanctioned activities and practices of loan apps in the country, especially illegal ones.
The commission said these practices included interest rates that violate the laws governing lending, adding that these loan apps constitute harassment and unacceptable unconventional loan repayment/recovery strategies, as well as unexplained charges associated with loans.
The FCCPC hence developed the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022, in collaboration with the Joint Task Force (JTF) to promote fair, transparent, and beneficial alternative lending opportunities for Nigerians.