By Watchdog reporter

Telecom giant MTN this week announced is venturing into core banking functions; saving and lending money to its customers.

The telecom said it was doing it with partnership with Bank of Africa.

MTN would offer financial loans through its mobile money platform.

However, lawmakers are not willing to lie low as MTN literally starts taking more than a fair share from their subscribers.

MPs raised the issue on consumer protection basis.

MP Kenneth Lubogo of Bulamogi County raised the matter on the floor of parliament after watching MOKash advertisement by MTN Telecom Company inviting Ugandans to start saving and take loans.

However, MTN which says has about nine million subscribers asks people to borrow money at 9% as interest rates per month.

The MP says, this would mean the subscriber was borrowing at 108percent per year.

Lubogo asked if MTN has been cleared by Bank of Uganda as a financial institution taking deposits and proposed that MTN suspend its new product until government spells out its clear terms.

Bugangaizi East MP Onesmus Twinamasikosaid he was disappointment that the central bank had okayed MTN to lend money at a high interest rate of 9 percent per month.

Planning state minister David Bahati tried to explain that MTN-Uganda has a license through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to provide mobile phone services, but he could not answer if UCC was the financial regulator in the country.

Bahati later admitted that MTN had no license for banking services but that Bank of Uganda had give them a green light to work with the Bank of Africa to lend to their customers.

Clearly, MTN is bending the rules, and was working with Bank of Africa to cheat customers.

Katerera County MP Atwibu Katoto noted that the telecom company was already making a lot of money from Uganda through unnecessary charges on mobile money, airtime and data bundles.

Joseph Ssewungu, the Kalungu West MP asked where Bank of Uganda got the authority to allow a telecom into offering banking services without the approval of Parliament.

 

Comments