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CBN, EFCC, FCCPC, others to prosecute ‘loan sharks’ over data privacy abuse

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THE Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC),  the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are set to commence investigations into the illegal practices of digital money lenders in the country.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC Babatunde Irukera on behalf of the joint regulatory and enforcement committee of the agencies involved in the investigations.

The statement was dated November 15.


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He said the collaborative investigation was to ensure enforcement action against already known violators while investigating others and commencing criminal prosecutions where applicable.

He stated that the conduct of some money lenders was becoming a dominant and abusive practice targeting some of the most vulnerable in society.

“Continuing complaints about questionable repayment enforcement practices, including public shaming and violations of privacy, have led to significant and understandable consumer aggravation and dissatisfaction.

“Others are arbitrary, unjust, unreasonable, or exploitative interest rates and or loan balances calculations, harassment and failure of consumer feedback mechanisms, among others, have caused consumer aggravation,” he said.

Other agencies involved in the investigation are Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

He said the committee would lead efforts to address multiple potentially dubious conduct of some money lenders, also known as loan sharks.

In August, NITDA had fined Soko Lending Company the sum of N10 million for sending threatening messages to borrowers, which  was a privacy invasion.

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The ICIR in previous investigations had revealed some lending companies in the country were not licensed to carry out monetary operations.

Irukera also confirmed in his statement that some lending companies were not licensed by appropriate authorities to engage in the services they provided.

“Initial inquiries demonstrate that many of the purported lenders are not legally acceptably established or otherwise licensed by the appropriate authorities to engage in the services they ostensibly provide.

“A joint task force of analysts and enforcers was also created and immediately activated. The agencies recognised and welcome products and providers that bridge the lending gap for consumers who would otherwise be ineligible for conventional loans from traditional financial institutions,” he said.

He said the commission had created a dedicated email address to receive complaints, the identity of businesses or individuals involved in these practices.

The e-mail address is [email protected]

 

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Am a victim of this loan companies too. I borrowed from sokolending . Before due date they started harassing me with intimidating messages as far as going into my contact and sending defaming messages. These companies need serious check and fine for their unscrupulous activities and violation of human rights. Thanks.

  2. I am also a victim of harassment , the same soko lending forwarded my picture and messages to my contacts telling them not to do any monetary business with me.

  3. I didn’t take a loan but a particular loan company which I believe is known as Kash kash has been contacting me via sms and calls saying that someone(i won’t put a name) took a loan from them and hasn’t repaid it that they would hold me accountablelelelelele and even went as far as threatening me.
    I couldn’t stop laughing and wondering why a company that says it’s genuine would do such a thing. This companies are just interested in collecting the huge interest they place on the loans.

    And least I forget, isn’t it a criminal offence to collect a persons private details or contact list without his/her permission?
    And to think they have the mind to message the individuals contacts and to send such defamatory messages.

    We need to put this companies in check.

  4. I am tired of this life, i borrowed loan from this loan sharks because life was so tough.. Had i known i wouldn’t have done so. They came to me with juicy offer, i ended up borrowing loan from them, i couldn’t meet up and they start sending threatening messages to me and my contacts, every of my contacts where calling me asking me to go and repay their loan, they went as far as posting my pictures to the internet, no body is willing to do business with me because they paint me as a fraud who is on the run.
    I ended up running to one loan sharks to another to repay off debts that kept increasing day by day with high interest..
    Soko lending, Go cash, Xcredit, kash kash, fast money, Get cash etc are after me, i don’t even know where to run to anymore, i tried paying small small but they won’t let me be, i feel like dying.. Please help me..
    They have access to all my contact.

  5. Opay also gives loan to their agents with high interest rate.
    They give you loan and start deduction every day still the due date.
    They don’t care if you are able to meet up with what you collected the money for.
    Please they are to be investigated for they do services that financial service providers are not doing.
    They loan interest is to high and difficult to pay.

  6. Nobody has mentioned Moneyloan, they will tell you, you can borrow 50,000 the they will send 20,000 to your account and ask you repay 65,000 in 7 days, you won’t see all these to choose whether or not you want it, then after applying and disbursing they will now show you repayment amount and date and if you default the agents will start insulting and abusing you with several threats. Some other loan apps that have sent my contacts messages and I have also received unbehalf of other people are Sokoloan, 9credit,easy money, monicash, 9cash, xcredit, cashlion, easycredit,quickcredit, 9jamoney, Ucash,cash credit, kashkash, Ncash, I get messages threatening me from these companies, some that I have used also sent messages to my contacts, they need to be addressed and their extortion, the interests needs to reduce and duration as well, Ucash Alicash gives 5 days for repayment, that is so unfair, please help us we are dying, these people are wrecking us, they will make you take a loan with false hopes and get stuck because you have to keep repaying with hig interest thereby making you loan from others to pay them to avoid embarrassment.

  7. I’m a victim of harassment and intimidation . The so called customer care or account officers has no manners and are not cultured and also not guided with their utterances. On daily bases they keep increasing the money owed against the initial agreement to their own benefits, buzzing your line even in the middle of the night.

  8. Soko company FAST MONEY, should be prob for Defamation of Character. Alone of #46,000 I collected from this company which over due for two days with interest, See message that was sent to all my contacts. Attention Attention Attention, my name and two phone numbers. That am acting dubious towards an overdue loan Repayment and refused to pay, until full repayment is made he/she should not be trusted with any form of transaction.

  9. Soko company FAST MONEY, should be prob for Devaluation of Character. Alone of #46,000 I collected from this company which over due for two days with interest, See message that was sent to all my contacts. Attention Attention Attention, my name and two phone numbers. That am acting dubious towards an overdue loan Repayment and refused to pay, until full repayment is made he/she should not be trusted with any form of transaction.
    This is a loan that’s 2days overdue with interest.have paid their money and I want Soko company to provide the person that did this.

  10. If you’re leaving some amount of money in your account they will withdrawn the money from your account which is not remitted as part of the money you’re supposed pay back as part of the lian

  11. This had been too obvious with Xcredit and L credit,the day I was supposed to clear of their loans I was a victim of one chance robbery ,I personally explained my predicament to what I was going through yet they went into my contacts and started calling friends and relations that I’m a fraudsters, thank be to God I have paid all their charges after some days now I need publication apology from this company

  12. From their 1% increment, it has suddenly rose to 2% Increase. Please help us. I tried to pay but their network was down. They’ve called everyone and labeled me a criminal

  13. If I’m called to speak of my challenge, i will be very happy..
    I requested for a loan with LCREDIT which was to be paid within two weeks. After crediting my account with amount lower than what we agred, which was not funny at all. Two days to the dued date for refund, the platform was down and so i coukd not traced the menu where i can get details to pay the due loan. But on the due date i was called late in the night knowing that i can go to the bank to do any offline transactions. In summary i was accused of running away with company money. My contacts were hacked and my relatives being threatened, this was after i had already over paid in the money and up till today LCREDIT have refused to refund my balance of 3k and the threat from LCREDIT agents of dealing with me if i kerp on disturbing them over the money they did not forcefully collect from me. I really feel bad that i csn place charges on them for character defamation. I ferl very bad, let LCREDIT refund my 3k.

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