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FG shutdown GoCash, Okash, Other Online Bank Apps In Nigeria

FG shutdown GoCash, Okash, Other Online Bank Apps In Nigeria

The Federal government has turned off some illegal financial institutions operating in a few elements of Lagos State.
Naija News reports that the illegal financial institutions were turned off following customers’ complaints of malpractices and invasion of privacy.

In a conversation with reporters on Friday, the Chief Executive Officer, Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera, said the illegal online banks were located in Opebi Road, Ikeja part of Lagos.

Irukera listed a few of the illegal quick loan companies raided as GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice, Easy Moni.

He disclosed that the raid was carried out by FCCPC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Nigerian Police Force.

Irukera said the illegal institutions were accused of violating customers’ privacy inside their debt recovery drive, adding that investigations to the allegations started two years.
The FCCPC boss noted that the interest rate charged by online banks generally seems to violate the ethics of how lending is done.

He said, “This information started quite a while ago. Some time ago, when the country was on lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic, we started seeing the rise in money lenders”

“Because there was lockdown due to the pandemic, people needed small easy loan which is understandable. But over some time, people started complaining about the malpractices of the lenders, so we started tracking it”

“Towards the end of last year, we gathered quite a lot of information. We started working with some other key agencies and the FCCPC led the meeting where we all agreed there would be a joint effort to look into these businesses.

“The key two things that were subject of concern were what seems to be the naming and shaming violation of people’s privacy concerning how these lenders recover their loans.

“Secondly, the interest rate seems to be a violation of the ethics on how lending is done. So, those were the two things that we set out to look for.

“So, we started an investigation trying to determine the location of these firms. That has been a very difficult thing. We did that for several months and some of them have moved from one place to the another and we have been visiting these places for months”

Irukera said investigations had revealed that the loan firms were neither Nigerian companies nor registered in the country, adding that many of the online banks are operated by the same person.

He disclosed that the commission had written to global app companies asking them to suspend the operations of the online banks.

“We found out that most of these companies operate from the same place. We also found out that many of them are operated by the same person. They are not Nigerian companies, they don’t have an address in Nigeria and they are not registered in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission and they do not have any license to do their business.

“Essentially, what they have is an app, and so we started gathering more information about them. We engaged the public and the people who had been their victims. They gave us more information,” he said.

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