The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) recently once again warned against illegal lenders. These so-called lenders are mainly active on websites with advertisements. People with a BKR listing can borrow money if they first pay ‘costs’ in advance. After payment of these costs nothing is heard from the illegal lenders. People are often tempted to borrow more money. Another trick is that the ad is drawn up in such a way that it seems easy to get a loan. The lender, for example, acts as a wealthy man who wants to help other needy people or is religious.
The AFM supervises the financial sector. She has removed as many as 180,000 suspicious ads in the past two years. The same people often hide behind the advertisements. To take out a loan, you must have a permit from the AFM. The illegal lenders usually have an email address from Hotmail or another general address. Then one must actually have already been warned. A real money provider would have a website with a contact form and an address.
The control over the provision of mini-loans has been considerably tightened over the years. Some lenders got hefty fines because they charged high closing costs. This is legally forbidden. Except for the repayment, an interest payment may only be requested. This interest payment is approximately 15% per year. A limited number of lenders of mini-loans in the Netherlands still charge closing costs. The providers of these mini loans are not illegal lenders because they comply with European rules. They have an office abroad. As a result, the AFM can only warn people. Until the rules have been tightened up at European level, this will probably remain so. This does not alter the fact that most of the miniature loans have disappeared due to the stricter control of the AFM.