Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) has stopped issuance of licenses for calendar year 2020 after licensing a total of 894 institutions around the country.
The Authority which is mandated under section 62 and section 77 of the tier 4 microfinance institutions and money lenders Act,2016, has licensed 143 non deposit taking microfinance institutions while the licensed money lending companies are 751 for the calendar year 2020.
Several of the licensed non deposits taking microfinance institutions have branches across the country.
The Authority encourages all licensed institutions to disclose their branches for approval as per the tier 4 microfinance institutions and money lenders Act,2016 and regulations..
The licensed non deposit taking microfinance institutions with approved branches are; Asa Microfinance Ltd which has the biggest number of branches. It has 64 branches across the country. Bayport has 52 branches, Letshego Microfinance Uganda has 55 branches, Duckbill Microfinance has 27, Premier Credit Ltd has 37 among others. With all these licensed money lending institutions, the Authority encourages the general public to borrow from regulated ones.
Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority therefore informs the general public that it has now stopped issuing licenses from 2020.
It now instead accepts applications for renewals as well as new applicants for licenses for the calendar year 2021. Institutions are encouraged to start applying.
Pursuant to section 11 (2) of the tier 4 microfinance institutions and money lenders Act,2016, a money lender may apply in writing to the Authority for renewal of a money lending licence at least three months before the expiry of the licence.
(3) The application for renewal of a licence shall be accompanied by evidence of payment of the fee specified in Schedule 1 and shall be in Form 5 set out in Schedule 2.
All licensees of 2020 will have their licences expired by December 31,2020.
The Authority cautions the general public against dealing with unlicensed money lending institutions.
The Authority at the same time warns the general public against dealing with crypto currency because it is not regulated.
UMRA has also launched the licensing process for Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) after regulations for them were published in the Uganda Gazette. Under section 36 of the tier 4 microfinance institutions and money lenders Act, 2016 a SACCO shall not conduct the business of financial services unless it is licensed by Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority.
UMRA therefore encourages SACCOs to submit their applications for licenses of calendar year 2021.
Section 84 (b) of the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money lenders Act, 2016 makes it an offence punishable by a fine of two hundred currency points for a person to carry on business in a name or at any place other than the name or address specified in the money lending licence or to furnish false or misleading information in connection with any application for the renewal of a licence.
For more information about licensed institutions contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +256 417 799 700. Or visit our offices located at Ground Floor of Wing B, Rwenzori Towers along Nakasero Road, Kampala-Uganda.