Stricter rules for online lending platforms are on the way, SEC says

Online lending platforms face tougher rules from next month as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues its crackdown on illegal personal loan apps.

The SEC said in a statement that Google, which runs one of the world’s largest app stores, will begin requiring online lending platforms targeting users in the Philippines to prove they are duly registered with the business regulator on May 11.

Personal loan apps will be required to submit a statement and necessary documentation before they can publish apps to Google Play Store.

Google will also impose additional requirements in India and Indonesia, the statement said.

The SEC said this was the result of discussions dating back to May 2019 to “combat the proliferation of unregistered personal loan apps.”

So far, the SEC has ordered 72 illegal online lending platforms to shut down their operations because they lack the authority to operate as a lending and finance company.

“We thank Google for supporting our efforts to combat illegal and predatory lending, thereby preserving the integrity of the financing and lending industry, and providing Filipinos with safe and accessible financing options,” said the chairman of the company. SEC, Emilio Aquino, in the press release.

“We are confident that the additional requirements, imposed by Google on developers of personal loan apps targeting users in the Philippines, will serve as an additional layer of protection for Filipino borrowers and a deterrent against predatory lending,” he said. added.

The SEC said the personal declaration form would require lending application developers to declare that they are registered and duly authorized by the SEC Philippines to operate an online lending platform or act as an intermediary for crowdfunding.

Additionally, developers must “confirm” that they have conducted a legal business activity and in compliance with applicable laws.

Apps that do not submit the declaration and valid license attribution will be removed from the Play Store, the SEC said.

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