Foreigners allowed to own lending firm

INDIANS and other foreigners are already allowed to register as a lending company in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Previously, foreigners, who intend to enter into a lending business in the Philippines, are only allowed to a maximum of 59 percent of ownership for the business as per the Republic Act 9474 or the Lending Company Regulation of 2007, but just recently, these foreigners are already allowed full business ownership.

“They are allowed to have 100 percent of the ownership of the business company as long as they register at the Foreign Investment Act (FIA),” said SEC-Davao Extension Office Director lawyer Javey Paul Francisco.

According to Francisco, since the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against 5-6 loan schemes, the applications to be a registered lending company have since increased; and majority of these from Davao City are Indians.

With an average of around 30 applications for certificate of authority (CA) per year from October 2010 to June 2016, the number increased to a total of 256 CAs issued as of this week. Almost 70 CAs were issued in less than a year.

According to Francisco, some of the Indians have grouped themselves together or some with other Filipinos in order to form a corporation and to come up with the total minimum lending capital of P1 million.

Though SEC-DEO does not have the authority to regulate the loan interests imposed by the Indian lenders, they assured that complaints will be addressed more properly and efficiently with the stricter registration standards imposed by their office now.
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