Parliament: Committee to look at whether guidelines are necessary for debt collection

Indranee Rajah.

SINGAPORE - The Advisory Committee on Moneylending, set up last year to review the moneylending regime in Singapore, will consider whether a set of guidelines is necessary for debt collectors, said Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Thursday.

She also said that creditors such as banks and licensed moneylenders may engage debt collectors to recover debts on their behalf, however, the actions taken by creditors or debt collectors in collecting debts cannot violate the law.

It will be a criminal offence if the debtor is hurt or threatened during debt collection.

Ms Indranee was addressing Ms Foo Mee Har's question on whether a code of conduct for debt collectors is being considered, following recent reports of extreme tactics used by debt collectors to demand payment from debtors.

In her response, Ms Indranee said that the Registry of Moneylenders also conducts checks to ensure licensed moneylenders who have previously engaged in criminal conduct are not allowed to take part in any aspect of the moneylending business, including the collection of debts.

She added that the new Protection from Harassment Act also provides civil and criminal remedies against unreasonable harassment.

The Registry of Moneylending will also suspend, revoke or not renew the licences of moneylenders found to have committed criminal offences.