Parliament: Drop in number of unlicensed moneylending and related harassment cases

The number of cases of unlicensed moneylending and related harassment charges plunged in the first half of the year over the same period last year, continuing the downward trend since 2010. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The number of cases of unlicensed moneylending and related harassment charges plunged in the first half of the year over the same period last year, continuing the downward trend since 2010. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - THE number of cases of unlicensed moneylending and related harassment charges plunged in the first half of the year over the same period last year, continuing the downward trend since 2010.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, the Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs, told Parliament on Tuesday that there were 3,235 cases from January to June this year, compared with 4,729 in the same period last year - a fall of 31.6 per cent.

He also noted that two cases of loansharks operating under the cover of licensed lenders were prosecuted in the first six months to June 30.

Mr Masagos added that licensed moneylenders who resort to illegal tactics to recover their loans could have their licences suspended or revoked.

"Moneylenders cannot resort to harassment, vandalism, violence or threatening behaviour when recovering debts - the very thing that we're trying to avoid from unlicensed moneylenders," said Mr Masagos, who was replying to a question from Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on whether the licensing regime for moneylenders has reduced harassment against debtors.

"They must not infringe the law."