Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) was established by section 6 of the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016 to license, regulate and supervise Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders in Uganda.
UMRA informs the general public that it has closed issuance of licenses for the calendar year 2020. The Authority has now started receiving applications for licenses for the year 2021.
Download full note HERE.
What the Public Must know about Money lending business in Uganda?
A money lending business should be a company registered with Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and licenced by Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) in accordance with the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Moneylenders Act, 2016.
- In moneylending business, the moneylender should have a postal and physical address of the company (Form 18).
- A Money lender shall issue a receipt to a borrower for every repayment made on a loan and keep records for a period of 10 years.
- A moneylender should give a loan agreement to a borrower to sign not a sales agreement.
- A money lender shall not dispose off any collateral given by a debtor as a sale, pledge or collateral for the loan advanced to him, unless 60 days have passed since a written demand notice has been issued to the debtor requiring him or her to pay any outstanding monies on the Money advanced.
- A money lender may, before carrying out a sale of collateral by public auction or private treaty, undertake a valuation and obtain a forced sale value of the collateral to determine the market value of the property.
- A borrower shall retain the right to pay any outstanding monies and costs to redeem the collateral before it is disposed off.
- Where a moneylender takes possession of collateral under a moneylending agreement, he or she is under a duty to exercise the same care and diligence over the collateral in his or her custody as would a prudent owner do with the property.
- Where a collateral in possession of a money lender is lost, damaged or destroyed, the moneylender shall be liable to pay the value of the collateral, or the replacement value of the collateral, after deducting the amount of the principal and interest if any, outstanding within a reasonable time.
- A borrower may, at any time upon request made in writing to the moneylender, access information from the moneylender.
What are the Regulatory Do’s and Don’ts for Moneylending?
The Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act 2016 was rightly enacted to provide in part for the management and Control of Money Lending Businesses. The Act repealed the Money Lenders Act Cap 273, which required moneylenders to apply for a Money Lending License from the Chief Magistrate’s court.
The Act created the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) under section 6 as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal with functions among others to regulate, License and supervise the money lending business in Uganda.
The Regulatory Do’s for Moneylending;
- An individual or Company incorporated in Uganda and carrying out moneylending business can apply for a license.
- The entity seeking a moneylending license from the Authority must be a legal entity with an established office.
- A licensee shall display the license at all the premises where moneylending is transacted.
- A license shall expire on the 31st of December in every year and may be renewed annually upon application to the authority.
- Furnish the borrower with a copy of the loan agreement including all fees.
- Display interest charges at all times at the premises where moneylending business is conducted.
- Keep and maintain records including proper books of accounts, a cash book, ledger, register of securities register of debtors in a form that the Authority may require.
The Regulatory Don’ts for Moneylending?
- A company shall not operate a moneylending business without a license.
- A money Lender shall not take National ID, passport, warrant card, or other documents establishing the identity or nationality of the holder,
Bank savings, ATM Cards and security codes for the ATM cards as collateral for money borrowed.
- Charging exorbitant and compound interest rates on loans.
- Borrowers should not sign sale’s agreements for accessing credit facilities instead of loans agreements.
- Borrowers should not sign transfer documents in favour of the lender as part of the security for accessing credit.
- A moneylender is not authorized to carry on business under more than one name.
- A moneylender shall not take client deposits.
- A license issued is not transferable or assignable.
Qn.3. What Borrowers should look out for before borrowing money?
- The borrower should find out the right Money lender to borrow from i.e. the Money lender should be licensed by Uganda microfinance regulatory Authority (UMRA).
- The borrower should know on the computation of interest rates charged on a loan by a money lender and also disclose the method of calculating the interest rates.
- The borrower will need the moneylender to publish and disclose the charges and transaction fees in conspicuous manner prior to entering the money lending agreements.
- The borrower needs to sign money lending contract which contains the following.
(a) The date on which the interest on the principle is payable.
(b) The interest computed on the monthly outstanding balance of the principal.
(c) The frequency of instalments to be paid.
(d) The right to redeem the collateral before it is disposed off.
(e) The chargeable fees for the loan transaction.
(F) The charges for late repayment.
(j) The conditions under which collateral for the loan may be sold.
Qn. 4. How is UMRA streamlining money lending business?
- Through licensing money lenders under the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016.
- Ensuring that licensed money lenders operate in physical addresses of the registered company at the time of applying for the license.
iii. Carrying out market conduct supervision of Licensed Money lending businesses to ensure compliance with the legal framework.
- Ensuring the licensed Money lenders furnish the borrower with a copy of the loans agreement including all fees instead of a sales agreement.
- Ensuring the licensed Money lenders display interest charges at all times at the premises where moneylending business is conducted.
- illegal money lenders in the business will soon be caught by the law which enacted the establishment of UMRA.
vii. The Authority shall not renew a money lending licence where the money lender has violated a provision of the Tier 4 microfinance Institutions and Money Lender’s Act, 2016.
viii. Sensitizing the public about the money lending business.
UMRA GETS A SUBSTANTIVE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Edith Namugga Tusuubira is the new substantive Executive Director of the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority.
Ms. Edith Tusuubira replaces Elly Avu Biliku, who has been acting as the Executive Director. Mr Biliku was seconded from the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to kick start the establishment of the Authority in 2017.
Mr. Biliku has now been transferred to the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives as an Assistant Commissioner.
Given the wealth of experience in the financial services sector in the background, UMRA board found her exceptional for the Executive Director position observed Ms Jacqueline Mbabazi, the board chairperson of the Authority. “We found you excellent, brilliant and very intelligent during the interviews. You impressed us that is why we gave the job to you”, noted Ms Mbabazi.
The board also appointed the Director of Supervision Mr. Andrew James Nyakoojo, the Director of Finance and Administration Mr. Peter Emong Ojulang.
The recruitment of the Executive Director Edith Tusuubira and the two directors means the top management of the Authority is fully constituted.
Who is Mrs Edith Tusuubira?
Edith possesses over 20 years of experience in the field of financial/investment/risk analysis and project management, 15 years of which are senior management responsibilities. This experience enriches Edith’s successful track record of leadership on teams.
Edith has most recently worked as country manager of Oikocredit an international financial investment organization for 13 years where she was at the helm of all country operations, and initiatives. She managed the credit, equity, guarantee and capacity building partnerships which also included for urban, per urban and rural dwellers, through financing of microfinance institutions and SACCOs.
Edith has also championed all networking activities to ensure the growth of Oikocredit brand into a clear foot path as aligned within the country strategy. She has managed a portfolio in credit and equity investments worth more than Euro 50Million(UGX215BN).
Edith’s continuous involvement on the financial inclusion agenda, has developed into a full grown interest towards helping people increase access to finance.
Upon engagement with various stakeholders within the financial sector space, Edith has learnt to overcome the usual challenges, issues and inefficiencies encountered in order to develop a solid financial sector.
List of Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions issued licenses as at 13th November 2018
In May 2016, Parliament passed the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money lenders Act to Regulate the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders with the objective of protecting the borrowers against bad lending and unethical practices of the lenders, to build confidence in microfinance business and promote financial inclusion. The law enabled the establishment of Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) with mandate to promote a sound and sustainable microfinance among the non-bank financial institution’s (Savings and Credit Cooperatives SACCOs, Non-Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions and moneylenders, Village Saving Groups and loan Associations,) to enhance financial inclusion and consumer protection among the clients.
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