The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says that it has recorded a significant fall in the number of consumer complaints about the activities of illegal online money lending firms.
The commission noted that the complaints were the lowest recorded in the last 2 years following the enforcement exercise embarked by it.
This was made known on Wednesday by the executive vice chairman of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, and can be seen on the commission’s Twitter account.
Irukera attributed the reduction in complaints to the enforcement exercise embarked on by the FCCPC joint taskforce.
What the FCCPC Executive Vice Chairman is saying
Irukera said, “I agree that some activities of digital money lending institutions have destroyed relationships, whether professional or personal, and that is why we are doing all we can.
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“I will be the first person to agree that there is a problem out there.
“Messages are still coming, harassment is still coming, but frankly, we have been tracking this for a while.
“This is the lowest it has been in two years. From March when we started this enforcement; there has been a significant reduction.
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“I will say that after our enforcement last month, we counted probably less than 25%, tracking the complaints that came in.
“But 25 is not it, we will keep doing what we are doing, even adding more.’’
Major actions were taken by FCCPC against the unfair, illegal online money lenders
The FCCPC boss said that the task force would continue to set the guard rails and make the loan shark businesses difficult.
He said, “Wherever we find their bank accounts, we lock it down, whatever applications they are using, we go to google, we take them down.’’
Irukera said that pursuant to the order of the commission, google had taken down over 70 applications and the FCCPC had locked out over 60 bank accounts, adding that flutterwave had also taken down a dozen applications.
He appealed to members of the public to send their complaints relating to illegal money lending activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you should know
Recall that on March 11, the federal government, in a raid through its joint committee investigating rights violations and unfair practices shut down some illegal online money lending banks for not registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and engaging in activities against the rights of Nigerian consumers.
These online banks charged interest rates that violate the ethics of how lending is done and was involved in naming and shaming which is a violation of people’s privacy with respect to how these lenders recover loans, among other violations
The lending companies offer short-term loans to help subscribers meet urgent needs, but resort to unprofessional measures of harassment, cyberbullying, and breach of data privacy of their customers who may have defaulted in loan repayment.
FCCPC had earlier in April blamed Google for the inability to trace the owners of some defaulting online money lending banks over consumer rights violations and said that it may be working with law enforcement in the United States, to get them to come up with the information needed to get those behind the digital lenders.
The commission also in August barred all financial technology companies (FinTechs) like Flutterwave, Opay, Paystack, Monify, and others from providing payment or transaction services to online money lenders under its investigation.