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SEC crackdown nets 104 informal lenders

/ 12:57 AM May 20, 2017

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Finance said that on top of the suspension, the SEC gave these informal lenders only until May 22 to work toward the lifting of their suspension orders or else have their licenses revoked.

The DOF quoted a report of SEC Commissioner Emilio Aquino to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III as saying that “in addition to the 84 lending companies whose primary licenses were suspended on March 7 for failure to obtain certificates of authority, the [SEC] suspended the primary licenses of 20 more lending companies on April 6 for the same reason.”

“The [SEC] will revoke the primary license of the suspended lending companies once they fail to secure from the SEC an order lifting their suspension before May 22,” said Aquino, who is the supervising commissioner for enforcement.

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The crackdown on illegal lenders resulted in a nearly 500-percent jump in registration of businesses involved in lending activities, Aquino said.

“There has been a significant increase of 477 percent in registration of lending companies for the first four months of 2017. A total of 248 new lending companies were registered in the first four months of this year compared to only 43 last year,” Aquino said in his report.

Moving forward, Aquino told Dominguez that the SEC would expand during the second quarter its investigations on lenders that were suspected of violating the law or not complying with the regulatory requirements.

According to Aquino, the SEC would deploy enforcement teams in the regions, particularly through its extension offices in the following cities: Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Tarlac and Zamboanga.

The DOF said Aquino also reported that the SEC assisted 143 aggrieved borrowers from all over Central Luzon in filing a criminal case against the officers and board directors of a lending company in Nueva Ecija, and an aggrieved borrower in filing a criminal case against an illegal foreign lender based in Makati City. —BEN O. DE VERA

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