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Measures in place to deal with borrowing issues

  1. We refer to letters and articles on foreign domestic workers (FDWs) borrowing from moneylenders.    
  2. The government takes a serious view of any misconduct by moneylenders and regulates their conduct through the Moneylenders Act.
  3. Under the Act, all moneylenders must be licensed and are required to obtain the residential addresses of borrowers. They are not prohibited from sending of letters of demand to these addresses to recover unpaid debt. However, they do not have any legal right to recover debt from any party other than the borrower(s) or guarantor(s) of a loan.
  4. A person may also not be made a guarantor of a moneylending contract without their express consent. Members of the public who suspect any breach of such conditions are urged to report them to the Registry of Moneylenders under the Ministry of Law at www.mlaw.gov.sg/eservices/enquiry
  5. Unlicensed moneylending is expressly prohibited. SPF adopts a tough enforcement stance against unlicensed moneylenders (UMLs) and those who assist them in perpetuating the illicit activities.  These include harassing debtors or assisting UMLs to transfer money.
  6. If an employer is threatened or harassed by UMLs, the employer should contact the Police Emergency Hotline ‘999’ or lodge a police report immediately. Information pertaining to UMLs can also be reported via the I-witness portal at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness, the Police Hotline: 1800-255-0000, or the National Crime Prevention Council’s ‘X Ah Long’ Hotline: 1800-924-5664.
  7. To complement enforcement, MOM and SPF also take upstream measures to help FDWs understand the risks of borrowing from moneylenders. Specifically, MOM and SPF have stepped up educational efforts, through channels such as the Settling-In Programme for first-time FDWs.
  8. FDWs are taught basic money management and advised to consult their employers or employment agencies if they need money on short notice, and advised not to borrow from UMLs. Employers are similarly informed during the FDW Employer Orientation Programme and via electronic direct mailers to advise their FDWs to stay away from UMLs, and not to participate in any form of unlicensed moneylending activities.
  9. The government will continually review the regulatory regime to better protect FDWs and their employers.