Register of Loan Institutions – what is worth knowing about it?
As the name suggests, the Register of Loan Institutions is nothing more than the official list of companies providing consumer loans. It has been run by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority since mid-2017 as a result of changes in regulations regarding the activities of such institutions.
What is the Register of Loan Institutions?
Currently, there are over 470 non-bank companies on the list that conduct loans-related activities in Poland. Among them are companies offering quick cash loans (granted via the Internet and in stationery offices), but also companies offering products to secure real estate or helping to finance the purchase of a car.
The list of lenders kept by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority is obligatory – it means that every company that wants to run a loan business in our country must sign up to it. The list is constantly updated and available to everyone – you can read it on the website.
The official database replaced the previously operating Register of Loan Companies, which was voluntary and operated at the Polish Association of Loan Institutions, associating entities enjoying the opinion of reliable lenders.
What are the purposes of the registry?
The establishment of the Register of Loan Institutions was a consequence of the rapid development of the non-bank loans market, which proved to be an attractive alternative to banking products.
Unfortunately, dishonest lenders, which had to be eliminated from the market for the safety of customers, began to occur among the many emerging companies. To this end, legal regulations defining the conditions for conducting loan operations were introduced, as well as an official register of companies that deal with it.
Entities included in the Register of Loan Institutions are not subject to the supervision of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. This office only maintains a database of companies but does not control their activities in terms of compliance with applicable regulations.
Companies that want to deal with loans, however, are required to make an entry in the register – if they do not do so, they cannot start a business. To obtain entry, they must meet certain formal requirements set out in consumer credit regulations.
The purpose of the register is, therefore:
- collecting data on loan companies that meet the formal conditions for conducting business,
- providing the above information to all interested parties.
To sum up, if you want to use the services of a given lender, you can use the register to check if it meets the business conditions set out in the regulations. If it is not on the list, it means that it operates illegally and should not grant loans.
However, remember that the presence of a company in the database does not mean that it is honest. If you are unsure whether online loans and payday loans are safe, take the time to gather information about them. Choose proven companies that have been on the market for many years and enjoy a good reputation among customers.
What data is in the register?
The scope of data on lenders that you will find in the PFSA register is determined by the relevant provisions. This is only basic information such as:
- entry number in the register,
- full name of the company,
- registered office and address (street, number, zip code, city),
- entry number in the National Court Register,
- Tax Identification Number
As we mentioned at the beginning, the above information has the form of a table contained in an Excel file that anyone can download from the website. Data can be sorted by individual categories, as well as using a search engine to help find a given loan provider.
Who must sign in to the Register of Loan Companies?
Pursuant to the provisions, an entry into the Good Finance database should be obtained by any company that wants to deal with granting consumer loans. It is currently a condition for starting operations. Entities that offer loans to customers without an entry are exposed to a fine of USD 500,000.
It is worth knowing that at the time of launching the base, i.e. in July 2017, companies already operating on the market had to make an entry 6 months, i.e. until January 2018.
How to enter a loan company in the register?
An enterprise that wants to offer loans must make an entry in the Register of Loan Institutions. To this end, it is necessary to submit an application to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority in Warsaw and to pay a fee of USD 600. This amount must be paid directly to the bank account of the PFSA, whose number appears on the office’s website.
To obtain an entry in the database, the applicant should meet the following formal requirements:
- be in the form of a joint-stock company or a limited liability company (this cannot be e.g. a sole proprietorship or a civil law partnership),
- its share capital should amount to at least USD 200,000 and must be covered only by a cash contribution (not an in-kind contribution) not from loans, bond issues or sources that cannot be documented,
- members of its management board (as well as the supervisory board and proxy) may not be persons who have been convicted by a final judgment of a fiscal offense, against property, the credibility of documents, business transactions, as well as against trading in money and securities.
Failure to meet any of the above requirements is grounds for rejecting the application for entry in the register.