Errant Licensed Moneylender Fined

Posted by admin
on February 27, 2016

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Another errant licensed moneylender is in the spotlight for charges linked to errant moneylending practices. The owner and manager of licensed moneylending company Skyline Credit were convicted of two out of six charges on Thursday, February 25. Four other similar charges were taken into consideration while sentencing. Both had pleaded guilty in the State Courts.

According to the Registry of Moneylenders, one of the two charges against the owner was for recklessly furnishing false information to the Registrar while the second charge was for granting Singapore borrowers unsecured loans that exceed S$3,000. The press release highlighted that these borrowers have an annual income less than S$20,000. The sole proprietor of Skyline Credit was fined S$13,000, and will face a three weeks jail term if the fine is not paid.

The manager on the other hand was convicted for knowingly furnishing a false document to an officer authorised by the Registrar during an inspection. The document contained a false income statement of a borrower. The manager was sentenced to a S$12,000 fined, and similarly faces a two weeks jail term if the fine is not paid. It is common for the Registry to carry out regular inspections and audits on licensed moneylenders to ensure compliance of moneylending laws. Where breaches of such laws are found, enforcement measures will be taken. These measures include suspension or revocation of licences, forfeiture of deposits, warnings, and prosecutions. More details can be found on the MinLaw website.

Since 2011, the Registry of Moneylenders have reported that there had been thirty-six other moneylenders convicted and fined. The Registry has also confirmed that the moneylending license of Skyline Credit will not be renewed after March 15.

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More on the Moneylenders Credit Bureau

Posted by admin
on February 25, 2016

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If you read The Straits Times and follow closely to moneylending news, you might have noticed that our very own Quick Credit Director, Ms. Carol Tan, was interviewed for her opinion on the launch of the Moneylenders Credit Bureau (MLCB) in the February 25 The Straits Times copy. Ms. Carol Tan believes that with the MLCB in place, licensed moneylenders are now in a better position to discourage borrowers from over borrowing. She also highlighted that there is a definite chance that the default rate among borrowers will reduce.

Generally, licensed moneylenders are in an unanimous agreement that the credit bureau will be a very helpful platform for them in the long run. With borrowers borrowing loans after loans for the purpose of covering their previous debts, this downward spiral for them might come to a halt. A closer and tighter watch by both the authorities and lenders alike will see borrowers practice better money management.

As part of the tightening controls on moneylending, the bureau was first announced in 2014 that included also the new rule on interest rate of four percent cap. A spokesperson from the Ministry told The Straits Times that it will “monitor the situation for some time” before implementing the mandatory use of the bureau for all loan applications. This gives all licensed moneylenders some leeway to familiarize themselves with the system before it becomes compulsory.

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Credit Bureau for Moneylenders in Singapore

Posted by admin
on February 25, 2016

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The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) has just announced the operations of a credit bureau for moneylenders that will begin on 1 March 2015.

Known as the Moneylenders Credit Bureau (MLCB), its purpose is to help licensed moneylenders assess how creditworthy the borrowers are, as well as to help prevent borrowers from borrowing beyond their capabilities. Going forward, all licensed moneylenders are required to provide details of their loans to borrowers, and also their repayment information to the bureau. The same details can be retrieved by other licensed moneylenders during a credit application process. These borrowers can also access this information.

Without means of knowing if an individual has taken far more loans than he or she can handle, the introduction of this credit bureau tackles the problem of an individual being overstretched by multiple loans from different moneylenders. With this platform, moneylenders can make an informed decision of the creditworthiness of a borrower during the credit evaluation process.

Mr. Billy Lee, founder and executive director of Blessed Grace Social Services has welcomed the introduction of the MLCB. He believes that as the loan information of borrowers become transparent within the moneylending industry, borrowers will be encouraged to better manage their finances, and not to borrow more than they can handle. Moreover, the credit bureau will be used by the MinLaw and the Registry of Moneylenders to better monitor the borrowing and lending activities.

A credit report will cost $0.50 for licensed moneylenders and $1 for borrowers. Information in the report will include:
a) Loan type and tenure, total outstanding principal amount and total payable amount, and
b) Details of all active loans made with licensed moneylenders and the repayment status of each loan.

Mr. Peter Tan, president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore opines that the availability of such credit reports not only discourages borrowers from overborrowing, it also helps licensed moneylenders make better assessments during credit applications. This in turn helps licensed moneylenders minimize risks and lower default rates in their business.

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Prosperous New Year!

Posted by admin
on February 5, 2016

Moneylender

The Lunar New Year is fast approaching. Have you stocked up on your new year goodies or changed for new notes at the bank yet? This is the period where families get together and have reunion dinners, and also the practice of giving out red packets for good luck in the coming Monkey year.

Apart from the standard superstitions like not sweeping the floor on the first day of Lunar New Year (as it will sweep away all the luck), to not using knives and scissors as it will cut away all the wealth and fortune. The annual “Li Chun” has hyped up the banks and cash deposit machines all across Singapore. The practice to deposit money into their accounts on Li Chun has gained popularity in the recent years. Some believe that depositing in money will help in growing wealth and ensuring good luck. Some has gone to the extent of checking their auspicious timings and brought along specific amount of money based on the zodiac signs for extra luck.

Li Chun, also known as Farmers’ Day, typically falls around February 4 each year. Farmers are known to celebrate the beginning of Li Chun with special events, worshipping and offerings to the Gods, and praying for a blissful and prosperous new year ahead. The Lunar New Year is also celebrated around this time.

While the younger generation typically do not believe in these do’s and don’ts, such traditions and customs are still widely practiced. It is somehow a way to preserve identity and provide a continuity from the past to the present.

A word of caution: We know that there will always be some form of gambling during the Chinese New Year. We urge all to play with caution and practice responsible gambling. Do not forget that the fun may result in huge debts if one is not careful. This is especially so for problem gamblers who want to try their luck during the festive season. Borrowing money to gamble is not advised. If you need financial counselling or advise, feel free to call us.

Last but not the least, from everybody at Quick Credit Pte. Ltd, we wish a Prosperous Monkey Year ahead。年年有余,身体健康,财源广进!

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Fewer Complaints Made Against Licensed Moneylender

Posted by admin
on February 1, 2016

Licensed moneylender,

A parliamentary question on harassment by licensed moneylenders was posed by the MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Mr. Christopher de Souza. Mr. De Souza put forth the following pointers:

(a) if stronger measures could be put in place to protect borrowers; and (b) if clear guidelines or regulations on acceptable debt collect practices and behaviour were to be introduced.

In his written response on 28 January 2016, Law Minster, Mr. K Shanmugam highlighted that reports against licensed moneylenders between 2013 and 2015 had declined by close to two-thirds. The number of reports filed at the Registry of Moneylenders on activities linked to licensed moneylenders had fallen from 124 reports in 2013 to 45 in 2015.
Mr. K Shanmugam reiterated that there are existing measures sufficient to safeguard the interests of the borrowers. For instance, the Protection from Harassment Act that came into force in 2014 will provide civil and criminal recourse for victims of harassment. The Act protects victims from all types of harassment; for example, alarm or distress, fear, provocation etc. Simply put, debtors will be protected from unreasonable or illegal conducts against creditors, along with licensed moneylenders or their appointed debt collectors. It is important to note that licensed moneylenders who are found to have committed the offence may potentially have their licenses revoked, suspended, or not renewed. Debtors who are going through such behaviours from their licensed moneylender can approach the Registry to make a complaint. To report an unfair practice against a moneylender, reports can be made through the Small Claims Tribunal or the Court under the Consumer Protection. More details can be found via https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/minlaw/en.html and www.statecourts.gov.sg/SmallClaims/Pages/GeneralInformation.aspx

Additionally, it was stated in the Minister’s reply that some of the recommendations made by the Advisory Committee has already been implemented. The Ministry of Law will also be looking to implement other changes on moneylending in the very near future. However, a review to look into plans to introduce the guidelines for licensed moneylenders on acceptable debt collection practices will be shelved to a later date. This is to allow the moneylending industry some leeway to adjust to other changes in regulations. A supplement to the Moneylenders Act and Rules was only just issued by the Registrar of Moneylender last week.

Continue to watch this space for more changes and updates.
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