FCCPC conditions to register loan apps removed by Google

FCCPC conditions to register loan apps removed by Google is another hit news in the business news category available at 9ja2nice.com for your information about FCCPC conditions to register loan apps removed by Google.

Article summary

  • The FCCPC wants to consider loan apps that missed the previous registration exercise but with conditions. 
  • The Commission said many new digital lenders have also come up since the closure of the registration in March, hence it is reopening registration. 
  • It, however, admitted that privacy violations by the loan apps still continue despite the registration, but have been reduced. 

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has released conditions for loan apps that have been deleted from the Google Play store to get registered by the Commission. 

This came as the FCCPC said it is resuming registration of digital money lenders, which it closed on March 27, 2023, after several deadline extensions. The Commission said it would only consider and process applications existing loan apps that were not registered before the March 27 deadline, if they were able to justify why they failed to register at that time.  

According to the Commission, the affected digital lenders must provide “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.”  In addition, the FCCPC said the applications would be subject to a late processing fee and the fee will be paid through the Remita platform. 

Why registration is re-opened 

Explaining why its re-opening the registration of digital lenders which it had closed in March, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Babatunde Irukera, said new companies have been coming up and seeking registration after the closure of the initial registration window.  

  • 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 in accordance with the Guidelines and existing process.
  • With respect to businesses that existed, and or were taken down by Google Playstore, 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.” 

Irukera, however, noted that financial institutions that are licensees, and subject to the regulatory oversight of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are exempted from the registration and may obtain the required approval by a written request seeking a waiver by demonstrating such exemption, including evidence of licensure by the CBN. 

Privacy violations  

While noting that violations by loan apps still exist, the FCCPC CEO said the Commission had seen a substantial reduction in practices that violate consumer privacy, and constitute harassment and unacceptable unconventional loan repayment/recovery strategies, as well as unexplained charges associated with loans. He said the Commission and JRETF would continue to monitor the market and enforce the law with respect to digital lending.  

In case you missed it 

After multiple extensions of deadlines, the FCCPC eventually closed the registration of digital money lenders in the country in March this year. This culminated in the release of a list of 180 registered digital lenders.  

Out of the 180 companies registered and approved by the Commission, 132 were given full approval, while 48 were given conditional approval as they have other conditions to fulfill. 

With the registration deadline now elapsed, Google, which had also asked all loan apps operating in Nigeria to comply with the FCCPC guidelines or get removed, also yanked off some of the apps that could not provide evidence of registration.  

The FCCPC said it came up with 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. 

The registration was also necessitated by the disturbing activities of loan apps in the country, especially the illegal ones, over allegations of rights violations, and unfair practices, among others. Some of the loan apps charge interest rates that violate the ethics of how lending is done and are involved in naming and shaming which is a violation of people’s privacy concerning how these lenders recover loans, among other violations. 

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