FCCPC delists 47 unregistered loan apps
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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has removed 47 unregistered loan apps from the Google Play Store as of May 2024, according to FCCPC data. This action is part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to regulate the digital lending space in Nigeria.

Loan apps turn to APKs

Despite this crackdown, several unregistered loan apps continue to operate through Android Package Kits (APKs), bypassing app store regulations. These APKs are shared as links, which, when clicked, allow users to download the apps directly.

RELATED: Nigeria to block harassing loan apps, says FCCPC

While the FCCPC aims to sanitize the digital lending market by registering and identifying legitimate players, unethical practices such as borrower harassment and threats persist. The Chairman of the Money Lenders Association, the regulatory body for registered loan app companies in Nigeria, Mr. Gbemi Adelekan, attributes these issues to unregistered apps.

Mr. Adelekan explained that many delisted loan apps use APKs to avoid regulatory compliance, leading to borrower harassment and defamation as these apps operate without oversight. He highlighted that unregistered apps often push loans to individuals unsolicited and employ unethical recovery methods.

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“While most licensed Digital Money Lenders (DMLs) operate their businesses ethically and in compliance with the law, a few bad actors engage in illegal lending practices and unethical recovery processes,” Mr. Adelekan said. “These unscrupulous lenders are unregistered, lacking the necessary licenses, and violate various FCCPC regulations and guidelines. They use threatening and coercive tactics as part of their collection strategy.”

Rise in unethical practices by lending apps

The FCCPC has voiced concerns over the rise in unethical practices by lending apps in Nigeria. In response, the Commission has placed 88 additional apps on its watchlist, alongside the 47 already delisted in collaboration with Google.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, noted an increase in infractions as more Nigerians resort to loan apps. He stated that the Commission would involve law enforcement agents to address these issues, supplementing regulatory actions and penalties.

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This development marks a significant step in the FCCPC’s efforts to protect consumers and ensure ethical practices in Nigeria’s digital lending market.

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