Bank Negara Malaysia (Bank) would like to caution members of the public on the recent modus operandi by persons or companies conducting illegal money lending activities using fake money lending licenses purportedly issued by the Bank.
These fraudsters aim to deceive the public to believe that they are licensed moneylenders and to lure the public to make initial payments for various purposes related to the loan such as administrative expenses, stamp duty, and legal fees.
These fraudulent activities are promoted through the website, social media, telephone calls, SMS, emails, or other forms of communication.
Bank Negara Malaysia does not issue money lending licenses. Money lending business is governed under the Moneylenders Act 1951 and administered by the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing, and Local Government.
Bank Negara Malaysia also would like to urge all victims of the above financial scam to lodge a report with the Royal Malaysian Police to facilitate investigations.
Members of the public are reminded to be vigilant of any person or parties who claim to be licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia. They are advised to refer to the list of institutions that are licensed or approved under the laws administered by Bank Negara Malaysia before entering into any business or investment transactions.
When you want to borrow, you need to know the purpose of the loan. Remember, you should borrow to meet your needs rather than your own.
Having a good knowledge of borrowing can help you manage your loan well.
- Borrow for productive purposes only and for something that you really need.
- Borrow within your means.
A borrower has a moral obligation to repay the debt.
A licensed money lender is a lender that is licensed by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) under the Moneylenders Act 1951. All licensed moneylenders will receive a valid license detailing the company name, address, license number, and the validity of the license.
How much I can borrow and how long?
The amount of financing that you are eligible to borrow would depend on a few factors such as your income, current debt commitment and credit history. Depending on the lenders, the maximum loan amount is up to RM20,000 with flexible loan tenors between 6 months and 5 years.
How do I differentiate between licensed moneylenders and illegal lenders?
- Licensing: A licensed money lender is governed and regulated by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) whereby they have to comply with the Moneylenders Act 1951
whereas an illegal lender (loan sharks) is not regulated or licensed by any party. Basically, they set their own rules.
- Interest rate: A licensed money lender can only charge a maximum of 12% p.a. for secured loans and 18% p.a. for unsecured loans according to the Moneylenders Act 1951. As for an illegal money lender, they usually charge 30% interest monthly. However, do bear in mind that illegal money lenders do not follow any law so they can charge as they like.
- Loan amount & tenure: The loan amount a licensed money lender could offer is from as low as RM1,000 to a maximum of RM20,000 between 6 months to 5 years depending on the lender itself. Some licensed money lenders could offer a higher amount of collateral. On the other hand, an illegal lender sets their own rules so the loan amount and tenure are set according to their convenience. For example, it could be a very huge loan amount but the loan tenure is set to be very short.
- Credit criteria: Some licensed money lenders do accept borrowers with negative CTOS records, high outside commitment, listed under ‘Special Attention Account’ (SAA) in CCRIS or registered under AKPK. As for unlicensed moneylenders, there are no credit criteria as it is not governed by any party. But do note that because of this, they might hold on to your personal belongings such as ID, passport, ATM card as a form of security deposit.
- Other charges: When applying for a personal loan with licensed money, if your loan is approved there would be a loan agreement validated by a third party like a lawyer, legal officer, or Commissioner for Oaths. That is why besides paying the monthly installment, you will need to pay attestation and lawyer fees, credit check fees, and stamp duty. As for illegal money lenders, there is no loan agreement involved so there could be other hidden costs that they could charge you as they like.
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