THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to create a financing and lending division to exclusively regulate lenders, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
An SEC crackdown on abusive and illegal lending has led to the conviction of 76 individuals, based on eight cases on violations of the Lending Company Regulation Act (LCRA), the DoF said in a news release on Saturday.
The SEC revoked the registration of 2,081 firms.
The regulator has also issued cease-and-desist orders against 73 lending applications and cancelled the licenses of 36 financing or lending companies for violating the LCRA and other rules.
“We are also creating a financing and lending companies division within the SEC to focus exclusively on the regulation and monitoring of these entities,” SEC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Emilio B. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino said that the SEC has been rolling out a campaign on abusive lending companies after the commission received complaints from consumers about the firms’ collecting practices. Such practices include threats and insults against borrowers.
Meanwhile, the SEC and the Philippine National Police in February arrested 46 employees of Cashtrees Lending Corp. for violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and the LCRA.
The SEC said most of the company’s online applications, including Goodpocket, Easymoney, 365 Cash, and Rushloan, are unregistered.
“To date, we revoked over 2,000 certificates of registration of lending companies that failed to secure their requisite certificate of authority, pursuant to LCRA,” Mr. Aquino said.
“Our next step is to sustain this crackdown on unregistered and abusive collection practices of online lending applications.” — Jenina P. Ibañez