If something appears too good to be true and you suspect there may be an underlying issue that you haven’t discovered yet, chances are it is not legitimate. It is important for all Filipinos to adopt this mindset, especially when it comes to financial matters. Unfortunately, many individuals easily fall for deceptive promises, resulting in hardworking individuals losing their earnings to fraudsters.
It is likely that your transactions are illegal if the loan company is not registered. Commissioner Kelvin Lee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states that the main challenge in lending transactions lies with individuals who request loans without realizing that they are dealing with an unregistered lending organization. It is crucial for people to conduct thorough research and ensure that the company they are dealing with is registered with the SEC or holds a valid license in the Philippines.
Lee strongly advises the public to be cautious of financial offers, whether they are made through online apps or offline transactions, that make unrealistic promises and have extremely lenient requirements and terms.
Instead of being enticed solely by attractive interest rates, it is important to consider the reputation of the company. Check if the company is reliable and has a strong financial track record.
To help consumers avoid scams, the SEC has been proactive in identifying and shutting down illegitimate lending organizations. They have filed more than 70 convictions and banned 60 online lending apps from Google Play and Apple Store. The SEC has also revoked nearly 100 Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) related to lending apps, resulting in the cancellation of over 2,000 lending company licenses.
Due to these concerns, the SEC has declared a moratorium and is advocating for an interest rate cap on consumer loans in 2021, in collaboration with the BSP.
It is worth noting that fintech offers opportunities for individual investors to start investing small amounts of money through various apps and platforms. However, it also presents regulatory challenges. The SEC continues to adapt and update its regulations to cover emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, and chatbots, without stifling innovation in the fintech sector. The SEC’s PhiliFintech Innovation Office, established in 2021, plays a vital role in this process, focusing on fintech regulation and policy recommendations to promote investor protection and the growth of MSMEs.
In conclusion, it is crucial for Filipinos to stay vigilant and conduct due diligence when it comes to financial transactions. By being aware of potential fraud and verifying the legitimacy of companies, individuals can protect themselves from unscrupulous practices.