SEC and Google to tighten loan application screening

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it was working alongside Google to impose stricter regulatory compliance on online lending apps.

“After updating its process for selecting online lending apps to combat the proliferation of predatory lending, Google will soon require advertisers offering cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets targeting the Filipino audience to show proof of their registration and/or license to operate in the country,” the SEC said in a press release Thursday.

Starting July 7, this rule is in addition to Google’s existing policy that requires all advertisers to comply with local laws for any area their ads target.

“As the national government regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the corporate sector, entities doing business in the Philippines must first register with the SEC, generally,” the regulator said.

Meanwhile, operators of cryptocurrency exchanges must register with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as remittance and transfer companies.

The SEC said it seeks to educate the public about legitimate investment options through investor protection campaigns and online financial education.

“During the pandemic, the commission has observed that several entities have taken advantage of the online space to spread investment scams allegedly engaged in cryptocurrency trading when in reality they do not exist. “, she added.

SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino said his partnership with Google will help the commission fulfill its mandate as registrar and overseer of the Philippine business sector, as well as protector of the investing public, in the digital age.

“We believe the new policy can reduce the number of Filipinos who fall prey to unregistered online investment schemes, who typically fall victim to aggressive online advertisements and intrusive tactics that trick them into believing products that are often too good-looking. to be true,” he added.

In 2019, the SEC contacted Google to work on countermeasures against the growing cases of unregistered personal loan applications.

In May 2022, Google revised its Personal Loan App Policy targeting users in the Philippines, requiring them to submit a “Personal Loan App Declaration” and other necessary documents before they can publish apps to Google Play. . — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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