THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued another cease-and-desist order against seven more online lending entities conducting businesses without the necessary license from the commission.

The Commission En Banc issued a halt order dated Feb. 8 against PesoBee, Peso T-Safe Online Cash, RushLoan, SkyMart, SpendCash, Tapa, and WithU.

None of the entities have registered with the SEC. They also lack the Certificate of Authority to Operate as a Lending/Financing Company.

Under Republic Act No. 9474 or the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007, or LCRA, individuals or entities that operate as lending companies are required to register as corporations and secure authority from the SEC in order to operate.

“[T]he Commission finds that the continued operation of the Online Lending Operators constitutes a clear violation of, and should be penalized pursuant to the [LCRA] because it engages in or carries out a lending business without the required license form the Commission,” the Commission En Banc was quoted saying.

The SEC found that the seven unregistered and unauthorized online lending operators have been imposing onerous and unreasonable terms against debtors and charging them high interest rates. These entities have also been using abusive and libelous language when dealing with debtors.

Until they are able to register and secure authorization from the SEC, the seven entities are not allowed to operate and promote their lending or financing businesses.

The cease-and-desist order also applies to the agents, representatives, promoters and the owners and operators of the hosting sites of PesoBee, Peso T-Safe Online Cash, RushLoan, SkyMart, SpendCash, Tapa, and WithU.

The commission has ordered 73 online lending applications to stop operating for not having the authority to operate as a lending or financing company.

As of Feb. 15, the SEC said it has canceled the licenses of 36 financing or lending firms due to violations of applicable rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, the SEC also revoked the certificate of registration of 2,081 lending companies for not securing the required certificate of authority. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte


Note: The story was updated on Feb. 16, 2022 to remove Cashwill from the list of illegal online lending operations based on a correction from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Only  PesoBee, Peso T-Safe Online Cash, RushLoan, SkyMart, SpendCash, Tapa, and WithU were included in the commission’s cease-and-desist order.