SEC orders money lenders Goodpocket, Easymoney to cease operations
MANILA, Philippines—The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has directed Goodpocket and Easymoney—both unregistered entities that have been called out for “unfair” collection practices—to stop their unauthorized lending operations.
In an order issued last Jan. 18, the SEC en banc directed Goodpocket and Easymoney to immediately cease and desist from engaging in, carrying out, promoting and facilitating any lending activity until they have secured approval and authorization from the SEC.
The companies, their owners, operators, promoters, representatives, and agents were further barred from offering and advertising their lending business through the internet or any other media, and to remove all materials involving such activities.
The SEC found that Goodpocket and Easymoney have been conducting lending activities despite not being registered as a corporation. Accordingly, both companies have no certificates of authority to operate as a lending or financing company.
Republic Act No. 9474, or the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007 (LCRA), requires persons or entities operating as lending companies to register as corporations and to secure from the SEC the necessary authority to operate.
“Thus, the act of these Online Lending Operators in offering and providing loans to the public constitutes actual fraud which was intentionally employed to lead the public into the belief that they are legally authorized to engage in the lending business which is not and has never been the case,” the SEC said.
The SEC has received complaints about the unfair collection processes of these companies. For instance, these entities have been posting libelous statements against borrowers on social media and sending such statements to their phone contacts.
“The acts of these unregistered Online Lending Operators in illegally offering and providing loans to the public, charging high interest rates, and subjecting its debtors to unfair treatment through abusive and even libelous language in collecting the loaned amount, have no place in a society that is governed by and faithfully adheres to positive laws,” the SEC said.