Zee Business special campaign to bring relief to borrowers from unscrupulous digital lenders by launching a ‘Operation Hafta Vasooli’ was a smashing success. This sting operation was planned keeping in mind interests of the common loan-taker. It came first in April when people were forced to stay indoors due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and were struggling to make ends meet and therefore, resorted to borrowing money. Many could not return the money on time.
This was when recovery agents of these digital lending companies started pressuring them to return the loans. Not only this, they were also hacking data of their customers and were public-shaming them by calling their family members, relatives and friends. As this matter was brought to the fore by Zee Business sting operation on April 18, digital lending companies started offering concession to these people. Besides, they also offered the option of moratorium.
Later, Reserve Bank of India took note of the matter and issued notification against these companies on June 24. RBI said in the notification that all banks and NBFCs disbursing loan through digital lending platforms should abide by Fair Practice Code and Outsourcing Rules. The focus was on transparency. For example, if any bank or NBFC is providing loan through digital lending platforms, the they will have to mention the digital loan agents on their websites. Plus, digital lending application companies will also have to inform which bank or NBFC is disbursing loan to customers. So that customers can raise complaints if need arises.
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When a loan is approved, customers are supposed to get a confirmation on a letter pad of the bank or NBFC concerned. It was also told that it was necessary to give loan agreement copies to customers upon approval/disbursal of loan. Banks and NBFCs were also asked to monitor digital lending agents so that customers are not harassed unnecessarily. They were also asked to make aware customers about grievance redressal process.
Meanwhile, after Zee Business sting operation on digital lending companies and subsequent notification by RBI, there was little seriousness noticed in the behaviour of recovery agents and these companies. Though big companies took RBI instructions seriously, recovery agents of smaller companies continued to torture customers. On July 16, Zee Business again raised this issue through ‘Operation Hafta Vasooli Part 2’ saying that despite RBI instructions, many companies continue to work in the same manner.
On October 1, in ‘Operation Hafta Vasooli Chinese connection’ Zee Business revealed how digital lending companies expanded on larger scale, directly or indirectly, in India. On December 12, Zee Business also informed RBI Governor about funding in India through different routes.
Taking the discussion ahead, Ze Business is once again coming up with the show “Operation Hafta Vasooli’ at 5,56 pm this evening.
You can also ask your questions during the show at our Twitter and Facebook handles. So, make sure you tune in to this most important show, where the channel will fight to bring relief to borrowers.