On Friday, March 11, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) raided at least seven digital loan companies operating in Lagos on “possible violation” of consumer rights.
The operation led by the boss of the commission, Babatunde Irukera, responded to several complaints of embezzlement on the part of lenders.
Legit.ng collects that loan companies offer short-term loans to help subscribers meet urgent needs.
However, they resort to unprofessional measures of harassment, cyberbullying and data privacy breaches of their customers who may have defaulted on loan repayment.
Here is the list of the loan companies concerned:
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GoCash is listed under Finance on Google Play Store. It lends Nigerians up to N300,000 and charges service interest of 20% to 30%, according to information available on the Andriod app store.
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Those eligible for the loans are Nigerian residents between the ages of 20 and 55.
The physical office of GoCash is located in the commercial capital of Nigeria, Lagos. It is specifically in Lekki Phase1, Lagos State.
OKash is owned by Blue Ridge Microfinance Bank Limited. The company stated on its profile on Play Store that its loan amount ranges from NGN 3,000 to NGN 500,000.
Okash added that his interest rate is calculated on a daily basis and has an annual percentage rate (APR) ranging from 36.5% to 360%.
Those eligible for the loans are Nigerian residents (20-55 years old) with a “source of monthly income”.
Okash’s physical office is also in Ikeja, Lagos State.
EasyCredit says its loan amount ranges between NGN 3,000 to NGN 100,000 and has a maximum annual rate (APR) of 40%.
Those eligible for the loans are Nigerian residents (aged 20-60) with a ‘source of monthly income’.
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EasyCredit’s physical office is also located in Ikeja, Lagos State.
KashKash says its loan ranges from ₦3,000 to ₦200,000 while its annual percentage rate (APR) ranges from 36.5% to 300%.
Those eligible for the loans are Nigerian residents (aged 20-55) with a “source of monthly income”.
His office is also in Ikeja, Lagos State.
5. Quick pick
Legit.ng can’t find any lending app with name Speedy Choice on google playstore. The loan application that appears when the name Speedy Choice is entered is Speedy loan.
Legit.ng cannot confirm whether the two are the same.
The quick loan functionality is similar to the others. The loan amount ranges from ₦3,000 to ₦150,000 and those eligible for the loans are Nigerian residents (20-55 years old) with a source of monthly income.
No office address was provided.
6. Easy Monitoring
Easy Moni in its profile on Google Playstore claims its “Microfinance Banking Business approved loan products registered with CBN and communicated to users when applying for loan online”.
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Its loan amounts range from NGN 1,500 to NGN 80,000 with an annual percentage rate (APR) of 48%.
Easy Moni’s physical office is also in Lagos.
Sokoloan says his own stake ranges from 4.5% to 34% and collects no collateral.
Interested customers can obtain loans ranging from ₦5,000 to ₦100,000 with tenors of 91 to 180 days.
To be eligible for loans, you must be between 25 and 50 years old and “have a permanent job”.
Sokoloan’s physical office is in Ikeja, Lagos State.
Meanwhile, a report from Prime time states that six of the seven listed companies, GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice, Easy Moni, were owned by Blue Ridge Microfinance Bank Limited.
Why FG closed loan applications
Babatunde Irukera, the head of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), said the reason for the shutdown was to expose and shame borrowers and violate their privacy over the how the loans are recovered.
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“Second, the interest factor seems to be an ethical violation of how loans are made. So those are the two things we looked for.”
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Irukera said the lives and reputations of vulnerable Nigerians are threatened or damaged by oppressive loan terms and outrageous collection practices.
He promised that the FCCPC “will hit them in their offices, cloud storage, banks and app stores”, adding that ethical lending is a must.
Giving an update in a statement on Monday, March 14, Irukera said Google LLC and Apple Inc had been tasked with removing the apps, among other actions taken by his commission alongside other government agencies.
However, the checks carried out by Legit.ng indicates that the apps are still active on the Google Play Store at the time of this report.
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Many Nigerians also said loan companies did not stop the harassment despite action by the FCCPC.
Jersey0107, @ajaneakan, said:
“Lcredit, sokoloan those are still sending messages threatening the victims, I saw a lot today.”
Hirofunshi, @Hirofunshi, said:
“LCredit is the worst of them all. In fact, worse than Sokoloan. Special interest should be given to them @lcreditNg.”
Favor of royalty, @favourroyalty1, said:
“They continue to call and send threatening messages even as this operation is ongoing.”
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Meanwhile, inside information obtained exclusively by Legit.ng indicates that the digital money lenders raided by the task force returned to work six hours later.
According to a source who crave anonymity because she doesn’t want to risk her life and job, immediately the raid took place the management of two of the two loan applications, Kash Kash and Okash “installed” those who are came to raid and started work six Hours later.
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“We immediately resumed work. I work in customer service and among those who call debtors and defaulters. I think the management sorted out those who came to raid and allowed us to resume operations.
“As I speak to you, I’ve called about 12 people today. The job doesn’t even require on-site activity. We sometimes work remotely and report to the office a few days a week.”