The rapid development of the non-bank financial services sector in the country, especially the growth of the services of the financial companies that offer credit opportunities in the market, often at lower amounts to cover unexpected financial needs, has imposed the need to provide unified quality standards of operation of the industry.
In the country, the number of financial companies offering online loans has been steadily increasing in the last few years, and there is a permanent increase in the number of contracts signed and funds allocated to citizens. The fintech industry and online loans around the world are already widespread as they offer services in a way and procedure very different from traditional financial institutions. With the speed of approval, the ease of procedure and affordability, they are becoming a serious player in the financial services markets, and this trend is becoming more evident in our country as well, which is catching up with global trends through financial companies.
Seven of the most technologically advanced and largest financial companies in the country formed an Association of Financial Institutions in May this year, in order to raise the quality of their business as an important prerequisite for further growth of the entire industry. This Association includes the financial companies Tigo Finance, Mogo, Digital Finance, Credissimo, M Cash, SN Finance and Iute Credit, and the purpose of their merge is to bring the companies together to create responsible practice, with the aim of long-term cooperation and positive evaluation by consumers and institutions for market regulation.
The members of the Association have also signed a Code of Conduct that provides a higher level of protection and clear rules of cooperation with clients who have received a loan or plan to obtain a certain loan from a member of the Association. The Code also deals with issues such as customer credit rating, ethical marketing, quick and practical appeal review and debt collection procedures. The application of the points of the Code is visible through the mark Responsible Lender that members have adopted, which assures clients that they will receive appropriate treatment.
„Each member of the Association is obliged to provide each client with the necessary information on the loan, the method of repayment, the amount of the costs and installments and any other information related to the nature of the loan and of course, to advise on what needs our services are designed to make better decisions. Also, in order to ensure the adequacy of the approved loan with the financial conditions, it is our responsibility to make a realistic assessment of the client’s solvency in accordance with the legislation and the use of personal credit risk models, to prevent the borrower from taking unnecessary actions.”, said Filip Dimitrovski, President of the Association of Financial Institutions of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Code of Conduct at the same time provides assurance to the credit users of one of the members of the Association that the business practices set out in this document will be respected, because otherwise, if they have complaints about the operation of a financial company, they can now submit them to the Association.
This way of working, according to the established rules, is expected to provide greater trust to the users, but also to the competent institutions and of course to the general public in the industry which is relatively new in our country. The Association also encourages other non-bank financial institutions to join and work together on a well-balanced industry development.