Another item from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in 2009 that I believe deserves attention as we move into 2010 is that on April 30 the BSP approved a new set of rules to govern all pawnshops in the country.
According to the BSP, the new rules replace the existing implementing rules and regulations of Presidential Decree No. 114 also known as the Pawnshop Regulation Act issued in 1973.
The new BSP rules are designed to “enhance consumer protection and foster confidence in the pawnshop industry by the pawning public.” Some of the changes that are highlighted in the May 2009 media release are:
- proprietors, partners, incorporators, directors, stockholders and officers of pawnshops must meet certain “fit and proper” standards to ensure that pawnshops are owned and run by people without any derogatory record and to promote good governance.
- Pawnshops are required to maintain a minimum level of capital or net worth in relation to their loan portfolio. The existing statutory capital of P100,000 has become too small and it is susceptible to the proliferation of “fly-by-night” operators.
- pawners have 90 days after maturity to redeem their pawned articles and pawnshops must notify their clients within the 90 day period before they can sell the pawned items in an auction. For the convenience of pawners, the new rules will require them to indicate in the pawn ticket their preferred mode of receiving the notice, whether by mail or courier to a given address, or by SMS or text through a specified mobile phone.
- pawnshops will be required to comply with explicit “Know Your Pawner” procedures consistent with the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and to address concerns on the Anti-Fencing Law.
- For transparency and to minimize malpractices, pawnshops will be required to post in their premises the Acknowledgement of Registration or Authority to Operate issued by the BSP, business days and hours of the pawnshop, their interest rate and charges for loans, among others.
The media release also points out that the “BSP signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Interior and Local Governments on the sharing of information between BSP and the city and municipal government units to ensure that only those that have the proper business permits and registered with the BSP are transacting with the public.”
The official media release from the BSP is here.