Uganda lifts ban on money lenders, imposes restrictions on online platforms

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | In a dialogue organized by the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) at Hotel Africana in Kampala, State Minister for Microfinance, Mr. Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo, announced the lifting of the general ban on money lenders, reserving the restriction specifically for online lenders.

During the Tuesday 30, January 2024 event, Mr. Kasolo emphasized the importance for money lenders to adhere to established regulations and operate within the legal framework.

The temporary halt on licenses for money lenders, implemented by Mr. Kasolo in December 2023, was driven by concerns regarding unfair policies within the industry.

He highlighted the growing challenge of unregulated online lenders, expressing worries about their lack of standardized operating practices. The Minister issued a stern warning, stating that unlicensed money lenders operating in Uganda would be publicly exposed through media channels to safeguard the interests of the general public.

State Minister for Microfinance, Mr. Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo.

As the chief guest at the event, Mr. Kasolo praised UMRA’s Executive Director, Mrs. Edith Namugga Tusuubira, and her team for their commendable regulatory and supervisory efforts, contributing to the enhanced performance of Ugandan money lenders.

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Furthermore, Mr. Kasolo pledged to engage in discussions with President Museveni to explore potential funding options aimed at supporting the operations of lending companies.

He outlined a conditional approach, proposing government funding with the requirement that money lenders offer loans at a maximum annual interest rate of 24%, aiming to provide affordable capital for business endeavors.