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FCCPC delist DML over Illegal practices

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By Usman Oladimeji

The DMLs harvest sensitive personal information from users.

In the wake of the recent occurrence of prohibited loan recovery methods and practices, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), said it has revised its list of registered and approved Digital Money Lenders (DML) to eschew illegal practices. The commission has delisted two firms, namely; Sycamore Integrated Solutions Limited and Orange Loan and Purple Credit Limited, for infringements and duplicity which is against the commission’s outlined guidelines and remains an unlawful conduct for all apps.

According to a statement signed by the Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, with investigations and perpetual monitoring it was discovered that most recurring infringements are done by either the DML approved to be on Play store and other financial services providers. The violating DML encroach on Android phones and tablets users through the use of Android Package Kits (APK) files as well as by providing them with links connecting to unofficial or phishing websites, as entailed in the statement.

Several sections of legislation restrict such unauthorized conduct.

During the process, DML with their apps have access to and harvest sensitive personal information from those users. Meanwhile, several sections of legislation restrict such unauthorized conduct, including the data privacy protection provisions and the Commission’s Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework & Guidelines for Digital Lending 2020. As stated, the commission has found deceit in two duly registered DML on the approval list as part of its ongoing investigation and tracking of these illegally running DML.

Remarking on the issue, Irukera stated that the commission’s approval of deceitful apps further allowed the apps’ creators to engage in illegal activities. This way the DML have been authorized for service by other financial institutions, and they have been approved and placed on the approved list and in the Play store. Nonetheless, he said, the company went the prohibited route of using their APK to entice users to a method which is a practice that is unlawful and unauthorized.

Violating DML have been permanently delisted.

So far, Sycamore Integrated Solutions Limited and Orange Loan and Purple Credit Limited have been named as the firms or apps associated with this unlawful conduct. The firms are listed as having control over the domain names “Getloan” and “Camel loan,” ranking 1 and 65 on the Commission’s Approved List. To this effect, the Commission has permanently delisted Sycamore Integrated Solutions Limited, Orange Loan and Purple Credit Limited, and their respective apps, “Getloan” and “Camel loan.”

Under the Commission directive, Google Play and other payment and financial service providers have been barred from providing the aforementioned violating firms with any services related to digital lending. This proceeding is said to be final and irreversible, serving as a fundamental penalty applicable to any other violating DML that may be discovered onward. Any DML that either rebuff or fail to register in accordance with the guidelines will be publicly disclosed on the Commission’s website, where they will be subject to close monitoring and appropriate action.

Users advised to exercise discretion in selecting DML.

Moving forward, FCCPC assures its commitment to continue scrutinizing listed DML and periodically update the list to ensure only businesses that consistently and completely comply with the spirit and intention of the regulatory framework are allowed to do business legally in Nigeria. It also advised users to exercise restraint and discretion in selecting DML, and specifically suggested that consumers make use of DML on the Commission’s approved list only to avoid falling victims to illegal and prohibited lending and recovery practices.

Related Link

FCCPC: Website

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