The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Wednesday it had upheld its earlier decision to revoke the license of KingABC Lending Corp. for unfair debt collection practices such as threatening to shame borrowers on social media.
In a statement, the SEC said it made the revocation of KingABC Lending’s Certificate of Authority (CA) to operate a loan company final and binding.
Citing the August 2 resolution from its Corporate Governance and Finance Department (CGFD), the corporate regulator said it had rejected the petition for reconsideration filed by KingABC Lending, operator of online lending platforms Pondo Loan, Start Loan, Green Loan and Loan Club. “for lack of merit”.
âThe ministry reiterates that the lending activity is imbued with public interest. As such, the Commission is mandated to ensure that only loan companies that seriously abide by laws, rules and regulations are allowed to operate, âthe resolution said.
The resolution became final and binding after KingABC Lending failed to file an appeal within the allotted time, the SEC noted.
He said the SEC CGFD issued the revocation order on June 7 after finding that KingABC Lending committed 15 violations of SEC Circular No.18, Series of 2019 (SEC MC 18), which provides the prohibition of unfair debt collection practices from finance companies and loan companies.
The SEC’s CGFD discovered that KingABC Lending threatened borrowers with shame on social media by posting their names as scammers and contacting people on the borrower’s contact list without being named as co-creators or guarantors.
KingABC Lending also used obscenities, slurs or profane language in its debt collection, and threatened to sue borrowers on fabricated legal grounds, according to the SEC’s CGFD.
The SEC CGFD has previously penalized KingABC Lending for its first and second SEC MC 18 violations.
A third violation merits the imposition of a fine, suspension or revocation of the company’s CA, depending on the facts, circumstances and seriousness of the case.
In addition to the 15 KingABC Lending violations, the SEC’s CGFD noted that 53 other complaints had been filed against the company for its debt collection practices.
SEC MC 18 came into effect on September 8, 2019, as part of the commission’s response to several complaints of unreasonable, abusive and unfair practices used by loan and finance companies to collect debt from borrowers.
In its petition for reconsideration, the SEC said KingABC Lending argued that the 15 complaints contained only allegations without evidence and that the volume of complaints in itself was not sufficient to warrant the revocation of its authority to certification, since SEC MC 18 requires proof of such claims.
The CGFD, however, maintained that the evidence on the record more than adequately supported the revocation of KingABC Lending’s CA.
The SEC department further pointed out that during its investigation, KingABC Lending itself admitted that its agents had committed “‘unlawful and unauthorized’ fault and” unfair fault “towards its borrowers.
“A review of all the screenshots of the messages submitted by the 15 complainants, including the 53 others who also filed complaints against the respondents, reveals common threads and recurring patterns, including the substance of the threats and the construction of the said messages sentence, “August 2. read resolution.
“To a reasonable mind, all of this evidence proves that the Respondent committed 15 violations of the SEC MC 18. Thus, it was only fit for the CGFD to find the Respondent guilty of violating the SEC MC 18 and to impose the penalty of revocation of his license. “according to the resolution.
The contact details available for KingABC Lending were not accessible. GMA News Online is still contacting the company for comment.âAOL, GMA News