The Department of Micro lending at NBFIRA is charged with the implementation of provisions of the Micro lending Regulations and the NBFIRA Act defined as Financial Services Law under NBFIRA. Functions include, licensing, off-site monitoring, on-site inspections, enforcements, and complaints handling.
Micro lending can be described as an agreement between a borrower and the lending company, (Micro lender/Cash loan).
Micro lending (also called cash loan) The borrower has the right to information pertaining to their loan(s) ie. the capital amount borrowed, interest payable, number and amount of installments, any additional charges such as penalty charges, credit life insurance, date of first installment and date of last payment.
It is the right of the borrower to ask for an explanation of information/terms/documents or anything they do not understand regarding the loan. Do not sign unless you understand the terms and conditions of the agreement.
A loan is not a source of income, but a debt. Do not rely on cash loans/pawn shops for a living or as a way of supplementing your income. Avoid borrowing money to pay other debts and buy food and/or other necessities.
Make informed decisions by shopping around and compare the interest rates as well as the terms and conditions provided by Micro Lenders.
Signing of any financial contract is legally binding. If you cannot read, seek assistance. Ignorance is no excuse. NBFIRA advises that customers abide by existing contracts that are financial.
In accordance with section 14(1) of NBFIRA Micro Lending Regulations,2012, that effective immediately: it is violation for any Micro Lender to:
(a) require disclosure of the borrowers personal identification number (PIN) used for a bank card:
(b) take possession of a borrower’s bankcard, national identity card (Omang) or any other official document.
NBFIRA hereby gives formal notice that all micro lenders immediately cease and desist from this practice and return any such above mentioned cards and documents they may be holding to their owners.
*Any continued retention of these documents or contravention of this section of the regulations shall attract civil penalties and prescribed in the NBFIRA Act.
The unit has currently recorded 185 entities as indicated by the micro lenders data base being registered for licensing and out of these, only 12 entities have been fully issued with micro lending licenses across the country.
These were previously not included in the division and have since been incorporated are now being fully supervised by this micro lending unit. The draft Pawn Shop Regulations are at an advance stage. There are currently 11 eleven pawnshops recorded and issued with exemptions to transact this line of business.
Customer complaints and disputes
NBFIRA is responsible for the receipt and investigation of complaints lodged against cash loans/pawn shops. A customer can complain at any time if they are not satisfied with the services received from cash loans/pawn shops.
Complaints should be lodged with NBFIRA only after the customer has attempted to resolve the matter with the cash loan/pawn shop and the attempts have failed.
Complainants are encouraged to submit their complaints in written form to the cash loan/pawn shop as well as to NBFIRA. This may be in either English or Setswana.
The complainant must give the following information when lodging a complaint:
- Full name, Surname and ID number
- Contact Details
- Description of complaint
- Supporting evidence if there is any