The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered five illegal online lending operators to stop their operations without prior authorization from the commission.
In an order issued February 3, the commission en banc directed Tacoloan, VCash, 365 Cash, SwipeCash, and BootCash to immediately cease and desist from operating, engaging in, carrying out, abetting, and/or promoting lending/financing businesses and related activities until they have incorporated and secured from the SEC their respective certificates of authority to operate as a lending or financing company (CA).
The companies, their agents, representatives and promoters, as well as the owners and operators of their hosting sites, were further enjoined to cease offering and advertising their lending business through the internet or any other media and to remove all materials involving such.
The SEC issued the order after finding that none of the groups are registered as a corporation, nor have they secured CAs from the commission.
Republic Act No. 9474, or the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007 (LCRA), requires persons or entities operating as lending companies to register as corporations and to secure from the SEC the necessary authority to operate.
“(T)he commission finds and so holds that the issuance of a CDO (cease and desist order) is warranted in the instant case not only to stop the illegal act but also to prevent the continued fraud on the public who are led by the online lending operators to the belief that they are a legitimate business,” the SEC en banc said.
“The commission is duty-bound to strictly implement the provisions of the (LCRA), ensure that public interest is at all times upheld and that the public is protected from persons who carry out unauthorized or illegal lending activities,” it said.
In addition to their illegal operations, the SEC has also received complaints about the unfair debt collection practices of the online lending operators.
This marks the second CDO against illegal lending operators that the SEC has issued for the year.
The SEC earlier directed Goodpocket and EasyMoney Online Lending to stop all lending activities until they have secured the necessary licenses from the commission.*PNA