The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended the primary license of more than 80 lending companies which failed to obtain a secondary license from the regulator.
In an emailed statement on Thursday, the SEC said it suspended the primary license of 84 lending companies for not having Certificate of Authority (CA) to Operate as a Lending Company.
The primary registration is the certificate of registration isssured by the regulator to companies, Arman Pan, SEC spokesperson told GMA News Online.
"A secondary license is the registration which gives a 'corporation' a license or authority to engage in regulated activities like being a securities broker, dealer, stock exchange, investment houses, financing companies, lending companies ... " Pan added.
"Earlier, the SEC sent out more than 300 Show Cause Letters, not only once but twice, to registered companies engaged in lending but have not secured a CA to Operate as a Lending Company," the regulator said.
The letters supposedly required the companies to explain why their certificates of registration should not be suspended for not having a certificate of authority.
"Out of the 300 or so second Show Cause Letters, 84 were returned to sender," the SEC said.
"In view of their failure to respond to the Show Cause Letters, these 84 companies shall therefore be suspended for 60 days, and if they still do not respond within the suspension period, proceedings for revocation of their certificates of registration shall immediately ensue," it added.
Below is a list of the 84 companies suspended:
SEC - Suspended Lending Companies by GMA News Online on Scribd
Fines and imprisonment
SEC Corporate Governance Director Justina F. Callangan said the latest suspension order was issued in line with the recent order of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to halt illegal lending activities, particularly loan sharks who charge appalling interest rates.
"The Commission is one with the President in adopting a tough stance against illegal lending that is why it is pursuing with much vigor all those engaged in it," she said.
Aside from suspension, the moneylenders may also face fines of not less than P10,000, or an imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than 10 years, or both. — VDS, GMA News