Business

'New' loan sharks increasing on social media, Japan panel says

JIJI

The rise of illegal financing by unregistered lenders through social media, including Twitter, was a point of discussion at a Financial Services Agency panel meeting Monday.

The FSA plans to respond to this new breed of loan sharks, in cooperation with the National Police Agency and other government bodies.

Around 50 complaints over such lending are filed annually in Japan, according to the FSA.

On Twitter and other social networking sites, there is an increasing number of posts with certain hashtags, including “#kojinkan yushi,” or interpersonal financing. In some cases, loans are offered with unusual conditions, such as physical relationships.

Such online loan sharks seem to include individuals who are unaware of the Money Lending Business Law and other related regulations, a member of the advisory panel on consumer financing said at the meeting.

The panel member urged the government to warn the public of the possibility of arrest for online financing.