Are Licensed Money Lenders Allowed To Advertise In Singapore?
You don’t get to see TV advertisements on Moneylenders, unlike pawnshops or bank. No posters found in public places like the shopping malls or the bus stop either. This is due to the strict guidelines that are in place and regulated by the Ministry of Law based on Moneylender’s Act.
Our government does not want to widely publicized Moneylenders’ services or in any case, allow the room for any misleading information to advertise. Any moneylenders who fail to abide by this regulation are at risk of having their business investigate and license suspended.
An Aggregator for Comparing Licensed Moneylenders
There are plenty of websites that offer one-stop reviews of services by several moneylenders. It offers financial comparisons platform between moneylenders and saves time and effort for the borrowers especially during a financial emergency period. Once you complete a personal loan application. The borrower will receive different personal loans offers to make comparisons. This gives borrowers the power to enhance their loan decisions.
You could even say that this solves a “real problem” in the society. In which individuals who need access to a fast cash benefit. This is by being able to compare the licensed moneylenders. This way you can get the best rates available in the market. The loan offers are out there on this platform that’s the website has.
Not Allowed For Adverts
- Advertising avenues like “paid-for links on the Internet. They are also referred to as ‘sponsored links’. This can be found through search engines. This includes any paid-links from the search engine. This appears on the Internet search results page. Or displaying on any other WebPages isn’t permitted.
- Online directories that only have listings and adverts. These ads are of moneylenders that are advertised. Realize that any other method is not allowed.
- Advertisements in form of emails and SMS sent to everyone. This can be targeted to the licensee’s clients or the public. Or it could be sent out former customers of the lender. All in all this sort of ads aren’t permitted.
- This link offers you the complete Law Ministry regulations in Singapore.
Advertising Guideline For Licensed Moneylender
Singapore has stringent advertising regulations. This is especially worth bearing in mind. These strict rules especially apply to businesses in specific sectors. The Singapore authorities establish the rules to protect their citizens. Thus they don’t want Singaporeans being dynamically exposed to. One such sector is Singapore’s Money lending industry.
The Law Ministry has several rules regulating ads. These regulations govern licensed Moneylender ads. Thus setting standards of what they should or should not do. This is in terms of their advertising and marketing campaigns. Evidently, these regulations were put in place for positive reasons. They are to help ensure that Singaporeans are protected. Here are some of the main directions you need to consider.
What Should You Do If You See An Illegal Advertisement?
If you encounter an illegal advertisement, you can reach out to the Registry at this number 1800-2255-529. They will investigate the errant moneylender before bringing them to justice and if they are found guilty, their licenses will be revoked and perhaps the owners fined.
Just in 2013 alone, 5 moneylenders have their licenses suspended pending for further investigation. This will prove that our government is serious in regulating the financial lending industry and making sure that moneylenders are not hiding behind a legitimate appearance while practising unruly and illegal means.
The Law Registry will not reveal your personal information to anyone during and after the investigation so you are assured that reporting any suspicious activity against any errant moneylenders will not bring about retaliation by the offender.
However, you are expected to work with the Registry while providing all the necessary documentation as evidence, attending an interview session and the circumstances of your dealings with the moneylender.
Typically so if the moneylender has proven to be practising unfair means during the period of your loan. You can engage your own lawyer and go through small claims tribunal or the Court under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act to pursue the matter on your own. The Court can decide to set aside loan interest rates that are unfair towards you.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Rather than to take a risk with your money, the wise choice is to approach a moneylender listed in the Ministry of Law’s website. If you are still unsure, there are plenty of helpful websites that will help you in comparing different loans made available by different moneylenders. Think of these websites as a directory of moneylenders.
Never just borrow from someone through word of mouth. Verify that the business is legit about lending you money. In short, the moneylender should have a public presence like an office, a landline, equate staffing, a storefront and they should be listed on the approved list of legal moneylenders.
If they fall short, don’t borrow money from them. You have plenty of choices from the 160 approved moneylenders in Singapore that you don’t need to be desperate to take a loan from loan sharks.
If you encounter a flashy advertisement or even an SMS on your phone about moneylending, these are illegal advertising and should be reported promptly to the Law Registry.
Take no chance through borrowing via illegal means. Not only will you suffer but your loved ones might be harassed by loan sharks just because you fail to repay your loan on time when in the first place, their loan interest rate will skyrocket outside of your means for repayment.
If you have doubts, just walk away. There are a lot of other moneylending companies that you can seek financial assistance. Our advice is to visit a few to find the right one who will meet your needs on the loan requirements, the interest rates and ease of repayment. Ask carefully and listen out for the answers. A good moneylending company should take time (as long as you need) to explain their terms and conditions in their contract meticulously and clearly before you sign on it.