By Wale Odunsi
The Federal Government has ordered financial technology companies (FinTechs) to stop providing payment and transaction services to digital money lenders.
The order affects loan sharks being investigated by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman spoke to reporters on Thursday during enforcement at the premises of some lenders in Lagos.
Irukera directed FinTechs including Flutterwave, Opay, Paystack and Monify to desist from servicing digital lenders under probe.
Additionally, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) were asked to stop providing server, hosting or other services to the companies.
Irukera informed the public that the Federal High Court already empowered the commission to search and seize properties of subjects of investigation.
“The information available to the commission demonstrates that Soko Lending appears to be the most consequential digital money lender with multiple apps and brand names.
“It covers a significant share of the digital or online lending market, and is one of the most prolific actors in violating consumer privacy, fair lending terms and ethical loan repayment/recovery practices”, he said.
The FCCPC recalled that the commission, on March 11, 2022, carried out a similar enforcement with respect to multiple lenders.
Irukera observed that the agency’s action had reduced the unethical, obnoxious and unscrupulously exploitative practices in the industry.