The Digital Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK) has shamed and named crooked practices from two of its non-members Okash and Opesa.
The two DLAK non-members face summons for inappropriate debt shaming operations. During their debt collection process, they engage the contacts of their borrowers and force them to pay the loan.
“Not only does this practice reek indignity, but it also goes against Kenyan protection data laws. By reaching out to a client’s data list, Okash and Opesa rob off a person’s consumer rights and basic dignity. This behavior may have a long-lasting negative impact on an individual’s psychology. It also damages relations which take years to rebuild,” said Robert Masinde DLAK chairman.
The first-ever criticism of group in the same industry comes at a time when the Central Bank of Kenya pursues regulations to time rogue digital lenders.
This move follows numerous complaints from Kenyans regarding credit only startups.
When the pot calls the kettle black
However, the rolled-up attack against Okash and Opesa comes at a time when other digital lenders have received condemnation from Kenyans. Stories persist regarding the suffering at the hands of these lenders.
Digital lenders have received a backlash in the past for slapping users with high-interest rates and using draconian methods to recover debts.
The most recent attack against digital lenders regards loan dials during the harsh times brought about by the covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, their counterparts in the banking sector provided moratoriums to borrowers.
Despite taunting themselves as the quickest solution to solving money problems, Kenyans have complained about the delays they experience before getting a loan.
Amendment bill by Central Bank
Meanwhile, CBK plans on amending the Central Bank Act that will bring the digital lenders under its wings.
In his most recent waning, CBK governor Patrick Njoroge gave a directive against the existing regulatory arbitrage.
“With the pandemic or not, it’s never too late to make the right choice. Imagine minding your business in the heart of your village only to get a call regarding your loan,” he said.