Nigerian Govt bans loan companies from messaging friends, families of debtors

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it has listed conditions for digital lenders who wish to continue operating in Nigeria.

Babatunde Irukera, the executive vice-chairman of the commission, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.

Irukera said some of the lenders under investigation had shown interest in giving their full cooperation to help carry out further investigations.

TheCable had reported that the FCCPC, in collaboration with enforcement agencies, raided the offices of “illegal” digital loan companies operating in Ikeja, Lagos, over alleged consumer rights abuse.

“Some of the moneylenders under investigation, or whose bank accounts have been frozen, and others, have approached the Commission and expressed a desire to cooperate and assist the Commission regarding the investigation under the Commission’s Investigative Cooperation/Assistance Rules and Procedure 2021,” the statement reads.

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“They seek benefit under Rule 4 in exchange for cooperation, assistance and compliance under Rule 3. As a condition of acceptance into the cooperation/leniency framework, some of the moneylenders have been required to, have agreed, and executed applicably.

“Declarations enforceable under S. 153 of the FCCPA to immediately and forthwith: Cease and desist from contacting, including by text messages, people in contact lists/third parties of borrowers or defaulters.

“Discontinue further abusive, coercive and inappropriate language in communication with loan defaulters or borrowers. Provide a mechanism for transparency regarding loan repayment fees, default or late payment charges as well as interest calculation to the Commission.

“The mechanism must include an open, accessible and responsive feedback and dispute resolution framework that complies with fair lending and loan recovery principles as well as acceptable regulatory standards for reconciliation of disputed balance calculations and complaint resolution.”

Irukera said the commission would be consistent in ensuring that violation of the law is not taken likely.

He thanked consumers for their active participation in providing vital and meaningful information, which assisted in the investigation

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