Creditors ans peer-to-peer loan brokers
If a trader intends to provide consumer credit or to broker peer-to-peer loans, the trader must give notice to the Regional State Administrative Agency for registration.
The obligation to register does not apply, for example, to traders who only grant loans to finance the purchasing of the consumer goods they sell, or to creditors and payment service providers supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority.
The requirements for registration in the creditor and peer-to-peer loan broker register are as follows:
- the applicant has the right to engage in trade in Finland;
- the applicant has not been declared bankrupt and, if the applicant is a natural person, he/she is of age and his/her legal capacity is not restricted;
- the applicant is trustworthy; and
- the applicant has the knowledge necessary in terms of the nature and scope of the credit activities or peer-to-peer loan brokerage engaged in.
The notification should indicate whether the trader intends to grant consumer credit related to housing property.
If the broker intends to receive customer funds in the operations, the Regional State Administrative Agency must be notified of this and an account of the storage and handling of the customer funds should be appended to the notification. The Regional State Administrative Agency will assess whether the notifying party can be considered fit to receive customer funds as required by law.
The registration is subject to a charge and an annual supervisory fee will be collected from creditors and peer-to-peer loan brokers.
The provision of consumer credit and peer-to-peer loan brokerage without registration is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or a prison term of up to six months. If a consumer suspects an unregistered company of the provision of consumer credit or peer-to-peer loan brokerage, the matter can be reported to the Regional State Administrative Agency.
A company listed in the creditor and peer-to-peer loan broker register must inform the Regional State Administrative Agency of changes in the information entered in the register on its own initiative. Termination of operations should also be reported.
The Regional State Administrative Agency does not have the authority to intervene in disputes related to individual agreements between a consumer and a creditor or peer-to-peer loan broker. These include, for example, disputes relating to the amount of interest or expenses of individual credit or claims for damages.
In disputes between a consumer and a creditor or peer-to-peer loan broker, you can contact the national Consumer Advisory Service. The Consumer Advisory Service is a national service that provides information on consumer rights and mediation assistance in disputes between consumers and businesses.
You can also file a complaint on the matter with the Consumer Disputes Board, but the Consumer Disputes Board may dismiss the complaint without considering it if the consumer has not first contacted the Consumer Advisory Service. The decision of the Consumer Disputes Board is a non-binding recommendation. In order to reach a binding decision, the matter must be referred to the court.