Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Survey results show that the most common way residents receive offers is e-mail.

«Survey data demonstrates a troublesome tendency in relation to the availability of illegal lending services in Latvia. Nearly one-third of residents admit having received such offer, which is a large number of residents. This means there is a large grey zone in the finance sector that is impossible to control because of the way people are contacted to promote offers,» says Latvia’s Alternative Finance Services Association manager Gints Āboltiņš.

According to survey results, 16% of residents in Latvia receive illegal loan offers once a week, 8% receive them once a month, and 7% – once a half-year or rarer.

The most common way residents receive such offers is vie e-mail (67%), followed by mailbox advertisements (16%), phone advertisements (12%), and through foreign and domestic internet websites (8%).

«77% of residents believe the state should combat illegal loan service providers. From a market perspective, creation of more accessible lending services, especially on the internet, is always more effective than control mechanisms, which are always more expensive and time-consuming. This can be done be creating balanced rules for the industry that would protect consumers and contribute to competition and not create artificial obstacles for licensed lenders,» said Āboltiņš.

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