FCCPC Raises Alarm Over Influx Of Online Lending Apps

FCCPC Takes Down 50 Loan Apps From Google Play Store Over Harassment

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has raised alarm over the influx of online lending apps in Nigeria’s financial sector.

Addressing journalists during a media parley in Lagos, Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Chairman of FCCPC, disclosed that there are about 70 to 90 online lending operators in the market already.

According to him, online lending applications are being operated by different companies in the country. And while some of them are legal, many of them operate illegally.

“Not all the online loan applications are illegal. Some are completely illegitimate; some are legitimate but illegitimate in their approach to tracking debtors. We are against the illegitimate works,” Irukera said.

While noting that, unlike government agencies that are easier to find and hold accountable, Irukera enjoined online lenders to prioritise customer care services.

“Government for all its inefficiencies is more accessible, easier to find than private individuals who just sell to make a profit.

“Industry must prioritise responsiveness and responsibility to their customers. Customers responsiveness is a core to business and FCCPC owes this as a responsibility,” he added.

The FCCPC boss raised this alarm barely three weeks after the agency raided some illegal loan app companies operating physically on Opebi road in the Ikeja area of Lagos and subsequently shut them down from doing business.

GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice, and Easy Moni, were all among the financial institutions that were raided and shut down.

In the course of the raid, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, explained that the raid was necessitated, as customers had accused the financial institutions of violating their privacy in their debt recovery drive.

Following a series of complaints from different customers, who had been victimised in their debt recovery drive, Irukera said the agency had begun investigations into the allegations, which was dated as far back as 2020.

“Towards the end of last year, we gathered quite a lot of information. We started working with some other key agencies and the FCCPC led the meeting where we all agreed there would be a joint effort to look into these businesses.

“The key two things that were subject of concern were what seems to be the naming and shaming violation of people’s privacy with respect to how these lenders recover their loans.

“Secondly, the interest rate seems to be a violation of the ethics on how lending is done. So, those were the two things that we set out to look for,” he stated.

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