- Web Desk
- 1 Hour ago
SECP removes 120 illegal loan apps from Google and Apple Stores
- Web Desk
- Aug 16, 2023
ISLAMABAD: In a concerted effort to safeguard consumers, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has closed down 120 unauthorised loan apps available on Google and Apple’s Play Store.
This move comes as a result of collaboration between SECP, Google, and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) aimed at enhancing user protection.
Recently, the surge of unauthorised personal loan apps had become a public concern, as these apps were found to provide misleading information, breach data privacy, and engage in unethical collection practices, prompting serious complaints from users.
The SECP not only reinforced its regulatory framework for licensed non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) but also took effective measures to shut down illegal and unauthorized lending apps. In response to effective vigilance by SECP and the inflow of complaints from consumers, SECP promptly reported 120 non-compliant loan apps to Google and the PTA.
Furthermore, in accordance with the Electronic Crimes Act 2016, further actions have been forwarded to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against the individuals operating these unlawful apps. The SECP also continues to monitor Google Play Store and Apple App Store for the presence of unauthorized apps.
In light of consistent efforts by SECP, Google has introduced a new policy for personal loan apps for Pakistan. According to this policy, Google now only allows SECP-approved personal loan apps on its Play Store.
Users seeking digital loans have been advised to acquire loans solely from SECP-approved NBFCs. Under SECP’s regulatory framework, it is mandatory for approved apps to provide users with transparent information about charges, loan durations, installments, and other related fees.
Moreover, SECP has initiated an audit of licensed NBFCs offering digital lending through digital mediums to ensure compliance with the regulatory framework and other standards. These audits are assessing data privacy breaches and more. The audited entities provide 95 percent of total digital loans.
The general public has been urged to report any complaints against licensed NBFCs and approved loan apps on SECP’s complaint portal: https://sdms.secp.gov.pk/sdmsadmn/. Additionally, information regarding illegal loan apps or illegal investment schemes can also be reported on this portal.