SINGAPORE: The Registry of Moneylenders uncovered 50 advertising—related breaches by licensed moneylenders as of end February this year.
Common violations include advertising using an unapproved contact number, advertising on unapproved websites other than directories and their websites, and via SMS.
Under the revised advertising guidelines which were introduced in November 2011, moneylenders are only allowed to advertise through specific channels such as business directories in print or online media. Furthermore, they are only allowed to place advertisements within the approved place of business.
Print advertisements and pamphlets are not allowed and advertisements must not contain information which cannot be verified, such as "instant approval" and "highest loan approval rate".
The Registry of Moneylenders said the bulk of the breaches occurred soon after tougher advertising guidelines were implemented but were promptly rectified. Since then, ad—related complaints have been rare.
Regular enforcement checks on licensed moneylenders are carried out and those who flout the rules could get warnings, lose their security deposit, or even have their licenses suspended or revoked.
President of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, David Poh Cheng Seng said they are managing those who flouted the rules.
Mr Poh said: "I think it is quite substantial — 50 breaches to the rule. I think we, the association, have already provided training and yet they breached the rule. I feel they might not have attended our training and they might do it on their own. And after going through the trouble, they will come to us for appeal and end up with either warning or suspension but we do help them since they are our members."
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