Non-banking companies cannot provide loans without licences

NON-BANKING companies without a licence from the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country’s central bank, cannot provide new loans to people as of September 1.

(Source: Sme)

The NBS has so far issued the licence to only 16 firms, the TASR newswire reported.

“Altogether 32 applications for licences were submitted by August 31, 2015,” NBS spokesperson Martina Solčányiová told TASR, “of which 25 applicants asked for the permission to provide consumer loans without limitations, one applicant asked for permission to provide consumer loans with limitations, and three applicants asked for permission for other creditor.”

The companies that asked for licences can thus continue their business. Those who have not asked for the licence and will continue in their activities after September 1 may be accused of committing the crime of unauthorised business-making.

Those non-banking firms which already provided their clients with loans but failed to obtain the licence will be allowed to finish the agreements, but not undertake new ones, as reported by TASR.

People can check the list of licensed companies on the NBS website. Currently there are 16 firms, including Home Credit Slovakia, Consumer Finance Holding, Provident Financial, and several leasing companies. By the end of August there were 252 creditors in the creditors’ list, of which 25 were banks and 227 non-banking companies.

The Association of Consumer Loans Providers (APSÚ) welcomed the changes. It excepts that they will result in better protection of consumers and contribute to a better image of the whole sector.

“The regulation itself and the protection of consumers cannot protect the consumers in case they borrow money from the company or the individual who run their business at odds with valid legislation,” said Ivan Kahanec, spokesperson for APSÚ), as quoted by TASR. “Thus we recommend consumers to properly check the company from which they want to borrow money.”

The Finance Ministry expects that the changes will result in purifying the market of dishonest loan providers.

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