You are here: HomeBusiness2023 01 16Article 621524

Business News of Monday, 16 January 2023


We’ve significantly reduced complaints about digital lenders — FCCPC

Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC)

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC)  said it  has been able to curb the activities of illegal digital lenders in the country, and  significantly reduce complaints on their activities.

In the past few years, the unethical practices by some practitioners on the nation’s fintech and digital lending spaces have become a huge concern to stakeholders. Matters however got to a head with a groundswell of complaints from customers  in 2022, about the predatory attitude of some of these  operators, a development that  compelled FCCPC to issue an Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022 under its enabling law.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, while speaking on a live television program, recently, on the achievements of the Commission in 2022, noted that the regulatory steps had gone a long way in bringing sanity into the space.

He explained that the Commission was able to achieve  a drastic reduction in the number of complaints from that space by also constituting an inter-agency task force, led by the commission to address the development  then.

According to him, the Task force also sought and got the cooperation and collaboration of partners such as Google Playstore, and the telephone companies and other payment gateways used by some of the illegal digital lenders to perpetrate such acts.

He explained that the Commission had to wade in early 2022, since the activities of the illegal digital lenders, then, had reached an ‘epidemic’ state.

“This time last year, it was literally a runaway train. At least, everybody knew one person or the other  being defamed  in one way or the other by one digital lender or the other, and by March of last year, it was literally an epidemic.

“Then between March and August of last year,  we were  quite heavy on investigations, tracking, and enforcement, and today, we are grateful that  there’s been a significant reduction in the defamatory messages and the loan component. And that is, in part, on account of the enforcement work by the joint task force made up of the multiple agencies and also the interim regulatory framework that was released and instituted through FCCPC, at the Joint Task Force, and the cooperation and collaboration of partners,” he stated.

While assuring those doing their businesses on the space, legally, of the Commission’s cooperation and support, the FCCPC’s boss however reiterated the Commission’s determination to make business very difficult and, even impossible for those that are not ready to comply with  the regulatory framework guiding such activities.

Irukera also disclosed that some hitherto errant businesses, de-activated by Google Playstore, on the instruction of the Commission, but which have now changed their ways, had undergone the regulatory and registration processes, and taken back.

“We’re seeing far less complaints about the conduct of the digital lenders. We continue to scrutinize and monitor what’s going on there. There are still some pockets of complaints. But we’ll continue to do the work we can to fish them out and address their continuing violations of the law. But it’s fair to say that we’ve got this situation under control, even though it’s not eradicated,” he added.