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RBI Proposes Draft Guidelines on ‘Transparency in Aggregation of Loan Products from Multiple Lenders under Digital Lending’

Background

The Reserve Bank of India (‘RBI’) continues its proactive approach to regulate the digital lending landscape, as evidenced by its recent issuance of draft guidelines on ‘Digital Lending- Transparency in Aggregation of Loan Products from Multiple Lenders.’ This circular, notified by RBI via a press release dated 26.04.2024[i], builds upon the framework established in the ‘Guidelines on Digital Lending’ issued on 02.09.2022 and the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated 08.12.2023.

Applicability of the Draft Circular

The draft circular is designed to address the aggregation of loan products by lending service providers (‘LSP’), particularly focusing on ensuring transparency and consumer-centricity in the digital lending process.

Key Highlights of the Draft Guidelines[ii]

  1. Enhanced Transparency: The guidelines emphasize the importance of providing borrowers with clear and comprehensive information about potential lenders. LSPs are required to offer a digital view of all available loan offers from willing lenders, enabling borrowers to make informed decisions.

  2. Consistent Approach: LSPs are instructed to adopt a consistent approach in ascertaining the willingness of lenders to offer a loan. This approach must be transparently disclosed on their respective websites.

  3. Comprehensive Information via Digital View: The digital view presented to borrowers should include essential details such as the names of the regulating entities (‘RE’) or the lenders, loan amounts, tenor of the loan, Annual Percentage Rates (‘APR’) and other key terms and conditions. Additionally, links to the Key Facts Statement (‘KFS’) for each lending entity should be provided for further clarity.

  4. Unbiased Presentation: LSPs are prohibited from promoting or favouring specific RE or loan products through biased or deceptive practices. The content displayed must be unbiased and free from any deceptive patterns designed to mislead borrowers.

Conclusion

The issuance of these draft guidelines underscores RBI’s commitment to fostering transparency and accountability in the digital lending ecosystem. By empowering borrowers with access to comprehensive information, these guidelines aim to promote fair lending practices and protect the interests of consumers. Stakeholders are encouraged to review the draft guidelines carefully and provide feedback to RBI before the effective date, which will be announced shortly.





End Notes

[i] Press Release No. 2024-2025/194, dated 26.4.2024.

[ii] RBI Circular DOR.STR.REC.***/21.07.001/2024-25, para 3




Attaching the press release and draft guidelines for ready reference:


20240426 - Press release
.PDF
Download PDF • 332KB
2024 - Draft Guidelines on Digital Lending
.PDF
Download PDF • 419KB



Authored by Muskaan Jain, Associate at Metalegal Advocates. The views expressed are personal and do not constitute legal opinion.




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