New advisory committee to review Singapore's moneylending regime

 A licensed moneylender in Toa Payoh Central. An advisory committee has been formed by the Law Ministry to review the regulatory regime for moneylending and recommend appropriate measures to strengthen it. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
 A licensed moneylender in Toa Payoh Central. An advisory committee has been formed by the Law Ministry to review the regulatory regime for moneylending and recommend appropriate measures to strengthen it. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- An advisory committee has been formed by the Law Ministry to review the regulatory regime for moneylending and recommend appropriate measures to strengthen it.

The measures they will look at include capping interest rates for moneylenders' loans, capping the total amount of such loans made to each borrower and restricting moneylenders' fees.

The 15-member committee will be chaired by Mr Manu Bhaskaran, director of Centennial Group International and vice president of the Economics Society of Singapore, said the ministry in a statement on Wednesday.

It will include representatives from the moneylending industry, such as Mr David Poh and Mr L Narayana, president and secretary respectively of the Moneylenders Association of Singapore.

There will also be representatives from voluntary welfare organisations that help distressed borrowers, such as Credit Counselling Singapore president Kuo How Nam and One Hope Centre's executive committee president Christopher Chuah.

"We look forward to the advice and recommendations from the committee in reviewing the regulations on the moneylending industry," said Dr Beh Swan Gin, permanent secretary of the Law Ministry. "It is not an easy task to maintain the balance between protecting consumers and preserving their access to credit."

The committee will start work on June 25 and aim to submit recommendations to the ministry later this year.