SEC revokes lending firm’s license, warns vs unauthorized investment schemes
THE Securities and Exchange Commission has revoked a lending firm’s license to operate over unfair debt collection policies and also released advisories against two unauthorized entities collecting investments from the public.
The regulator canceled the certificate of authority (CA) of KingABC Lending Corp., which runs Pondo Loan, Start Loan, Green Loan, and Loan Club.
In an order dated June 7, the SEC’s Corporate Governance and Finance Department (CGFD) said it found that KingABC committed 15 violations of SEC Memorandum Circular No. 18, Series of 2019. This circular contains regulations on the debt collection practices of financing and lending companies.
There were also 53 complaints against KingABC on top of these violations.
“It is likewise clear that at this point, the revocation of Respondent’s CA is not merely appropriate, but rather necessitated by the gravity and number of its offenses,” the CGFD said.
KingABC was said to be threatening its borrowers with shaming on social media by tagging them as scammers and involving people named in these borrowers’ contact lists even if they are not included as co-makers or guarantors.
It also threatened its borrowers with lawsuits with made-up legal bases.
KingABC likewise used insults and profane language in collecting debt, with borrowers receiving messages with death threats and profanities.
“Even more telling is the fact that subsequent to the issuance of the formal charge, the abusive collection practices of the respondent only became worse and more hostile based on the evidence submitted by the complainants,” the CGFD said.
The number of financing and lending companies with revoked licenses due to various violations of SEC regulations is now at 35.
The corporate watchdog canceled the primary registration of over 2,081 lending companies for their failure to secure the required CA. Last year, 58 online lending applications were ordered to cease operations for their lack of authority to operate as lending or financing companies.
UNLICENSED INVESTMENT ENTITIES
Meanwhile, the SEC also warned investors against Ching Empiretans/Ching Empire, E-Ambag, or Geever and PetroMobil Corp. for unlicensed solicitation activities.
Ching Empiretans/Ching Empire, E-Ambag, and Geever are said to be run by Analie Tuyor, who also goes by Ericah Cassandrah Lee Ching. None are registered with the commission and none of the entities are authorized to collect investments from the public.
Ching Empiretans offers investors a P850 entry fee to receive two soap bars allegedly worth P1,000 to resell. They will also have access to audiobooks and an e-commerce website to source products to resell.
Investors of Ching Empiretans are also offered direct referral bonuses, sequence bonuses, leveling and pairing bonuses, “making it appear that the possibility of lucrative income is infinite.”
E-Ambag promises a 180% profit after 45 days and investors may put in as low as P500 to P100,000. These will apparently earn a four percent daily profit.
Meanwhile, Geever masks its investment scheme by offering profits in exchange for “donations.” An investor or “donor” may invest from P1,000 to P5,000 with a guaranteed five percent daily return for 40 days. It also offers investors an opportunity to earn more via direct referrals.
For its part, PetroMobil has various investment programs, one of which involves offering a co-ownership program for a minimum capital of P400,000 in exchange for a guaranteed profit amounting to P100,000 within three months.
This is on top of a chance to co-own 17 gas stations PetroMobil is planning to build. It is promising would-be investors 60% of the net income, which will be distributed on a quarterly basis, and shares of stocks issued via a deed of assignment.
The SEC told the public to stop investing in the programs offered by PetroMobil as it did not secure registration and/or the license to collect investments from the commission.
BusinessWorld reached out to both entities for comment but neither had replied as of press time. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte