Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has tasked the Finance Ministry to investigate Platinum Credit Limited and Bayport for alleged exploitation of borrowers. Platinum Credit Limited is a micro finance company that offers emergency loans to borrowers among others.
Bayport on the hand offers short term loans, medium-term loans, long term loans and Education Protection Policy – Credit life cover among others to mostly civil servants.
However, there have been persistent complaints from borrowers implicating the companies of making deductions from their accounts even after servicing their loans fully while on some occasions borrowers end up paying more than double what they borrowed.
On Thursday afternoon, Gulu Municipality Member of Parliament Lyandro Komakech raised a matter of national importance in parliament saying the behaviour of the financial firms is hurting school teachers who are already suffering because of the lockdown.
He called on parliament to investigate the companies and ensure they return money to teachers and other Ugandans who have suffered unfair deductions.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga decried the continued exploitation of Ugandans and asked the government to investigate the matter. She said the same matter had earlier on come up on the floor of Parliament but was never resolved.
Last year, Agago Woman MP Judith Franca Akello raised the same matter on the floor of the house saying civil servants in her district were being defrauded by financial services firms.
The Finance State Minister David Bahati back then asked police to investigate allegations that Bayport Financial Services and Platinum Credit (U) Ltd had fraudulently disbursed loans into the accounts of some civil servants.
It came after Akello accused the two financial firms of illegally disbursing loans to civil servants who hadn’t applied for them. Bahati noted that Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority-UMRA had investigated the firms and found them culpable.
UMRA confirmed that the complainants had indeed received money on their respective accounts.
Bahati recommended that UMRA forwards copies of the said loan agreements that the money lenders allege were entered into by the complainants with the aim of finding out whether or not their signatures were forged.
UMRA spokesperson Edward Bindhe confirmed that the authority carried out investigations on a case by case basis.
“Some complaints were simply an issue of defaulting to pay while those who had genuine concerns like unending deductions, the firms agreed to refund their money,” he said in a short message to URN.