SEC halts operations of five online lending companies without registration │ GMA News Online

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Tuesday that it had ordered five online lending companies to suspend their lending activities without prior approval from the corporate regulator.

Citing the Feb. 3 order issued by the Commission En Banc, the SEC said it was ordering Tacoloan, VCash, 365 Cash, SwipeCash and BootCash to “immediately cease and desist from operating, engaging , to execute, encourage and/or promote lending/finance businesses and related activities until they have constituted and obtained from the agency their respective certificates of authorization to operate as loan or finance company (CA).

The companies, their agents, representatives and promoters, and the owners and operators of their hosting sites, were further directed to cease offering and advertising their lending business on the Internet or any other media, and to remove any material involving such, the companies regulator said in a statement.

The SEC said it issued the order after finding that none of the five online lending companies were registered as corporations and had obtained CAs from the agency.

Republic Act No. 9474, or the Credit Company Regulation Act of 2007 (LCRA), requires persons or entities operating as loan companies to register as companies and obtain SEC l necessary authorization to operate.

“[T]The Commission finds and maintains that the issuance of a CDO is justified in this case not only to stop the illegal act, but also to prevent the continuation of fraud on the public which is brought by online lending operators believe they are a legitimate business,” the En Banc Commission said.

“The Commission is required to strictly apply the provisions of the [LCRA]ensure that the public interest is respected at all times and that the public is protected against those who engage in unauthorized or illegal lending activities,” he added.

In addition to their illegal operations, the SEC said it also received complaints about unfair debt collection practices by online lending operators.

The corporate regulator previously ordered Goodpocket and EasyMoney Online Lending to halt all lending activity until they obtained the necessary licenses from the SEC.

To view the list of approved loan and finance companies and their registration status, the public is encouraged to visit the Loan and Finance Company Corner on the SEC’s website.—AOL, GMA News


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David A. Albanese