FCCPC Deletes List of Approved Loan Apps After Investigation

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s (FCCPC) website has been updated to remove the list of approved loan applications in Nigeria.

The FCCPC claimed that the list was removed in order to clean up the register: “The list is undergoing a clean-up and will be made available as soon as possible,” the commission stated on its website in a notice dated July 21, 2023, but posted on Wednesday.

Recall how the commission disclosed that several Digital Money Lenders (DML) apps that were authorized to handle rapid loans in Nigeria replicated their apps by running them as Android apps on the Google Playstore and Android Package Kits (APK) file formats.

“Getloan” and “Camelloan” owners Sycamore Integrated Solutions Limited, Orange Loan, and Purple Credit Limited, according to the FCCPC, were discovered to be operating duplicated apps to bypass regulations and requirements for loan apps.

The commission conducted an investigation in July before deleting the list to review the registered loan apps on its Approved List.

After the investigation, FCCPC said: “The Commission notes a resurgence in the occurrence of prohibited loan recovery methods and practices in the past weeks. The Commission’s investigations and continuing surveillance demonstrate that the vast majority of the resurging infringements are not by otherwise approved/listed DMLs approved to be on Playstore and other financial services providers.

“The violating DMLs have resorted to the use of Android Package Kits (APK) file formats. The illegal DMLs provide links to consumers to visit unregistered websites using their Android devices/phones. In the course of that interaction, consumers’ private information that is otherwise protected and prohibited from access or download by DMLs or their apps is accessed and downloaded. This conduct is prohibited by sundry laws, particularly relevant data privacy protection instruments, and more specifically, the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework & Guidelines for Digital Lending 2020 of the Commission.

“In the course of the Commission’s continuing investigation and tracking of these illegally operating DMLs, the Commission has discovered duplicity by at least two otherwise legally registered DMLs on the Commission’s approval list. The nature of the duplicity is that the DMLs having been approved and placed on the approved list and Playstore, as well as cleared for services by other financial services/institutions, as an alternate channel, and method of engaging in prohibited conduct, also engaged in the use of APK to attract borrowers to a process and practice that is illegal and unregulated.”