Loan Sharks Agree to Stop Threatening, Defaming Defaulters.

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Babatunde Irukera, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has said that some of the money lenders under investigation, or whose bank accounts have been frozen and others, have agreed to cease and desist from messaging people on contact lists or third parties of borrowers/defaulters.

This is one of the conditions for digital money lenders who are willing to continue operations in Nigeria.

Irukera, revealed that they have also agreed to discontinue further abusive, coercive and inappropriate language in communication with loan defaulters or borrowers. According to him, some of the money lenders have approached the commission and expressed a desire to cooperate and assist in the investigation under the commission’s Investigative Cooperation/Assistance Rules and Procedure 2021.

In an update of the investigation into possible violations of privacy and other rights in the online money lending industry by the Joint Task Force made up of FCCPC, NITDA and ICPC; Irukera said, “They seek benefit under Rule 4 in exchange for cooperation, assistance and compliance under Rule 3. As a condition to acceptance into the cooperation/leniency framework, some of the money lenders have been required to, have agreed and executed applicable declarations enforceable under S. 153 of the FCCPA to immediately and forthwith:

“Cease and desist from contacting, including by text messages, people on contact lists/third parties of borrowers or defaulters; discontinue further abusive, coercive and inappropriate language in communication with loan defaulters or borrowers; provide a mechanism for transparency regarding loan repayment fees, default or late payment charges as well as interest calculation to the Commission.

“The mechanism must include an open, accessible and responsive feedback and dispute resolution framework that complies with fair lending and loan recovery principles as well as acceptable regulatory standards for reconciliation of disputed balance calculations, and complaint resolution.”

This will mean victory and a sigh of relief to thousands of Nigerians who had been victims of the excesses of these loan sharks.