Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Fintech Lenders Association (AFPI) has lauded the Indonesian Police' firm crackdown on illegal online lending firms that have unsettled the public.

"AFPI offers its highest appreciation to the Indonesian Police, for its legal measures taken against illegal online lenders. The move is expected to restore public order," AFPI Head Adrian Gunadi said in a statement here on Sunday.

The move, he continued, would protect the public from high-interest loan, rude and unethical debt collecting, and the use of customers' personal data.

In support to the police' move against the illegal lending firms, the association has expelled PT Indo Tekno Nusantara from its membership on October 15, as the company received orders from illegal online lenders to collect debts.

AFPI has 160 member companies and 43 associates that include debt collecting service firms.

During 2021, the association has received 3,747 complaints on illegal online lending practices, most of them for unethical debt collecting.

According to AFPI, the illegal online lending practices have increased amid the easiness to create web applications; low financial literacy among the public, and gap in financing.

"AFPI whose members are P2P (peer-to-peer) fintech lending companies has called on the public to remain vigilant and avoid the traps of illegal online lenders," he said.

People should know the characteristic of illegal online lending firms, among others, not registered in the Financial Service Authority (OJK), unclear loan rates and periods, unreliable information on their websites, and requiring many personal data, Gunadi said.

Illegal online lending operations have grown exponentially in the past two years amid the growing popularity of financial technologies apps during the C0VID-19 pandemic.

President Joko Widodo has ordered law enforcers to increase surveillance of illegal lending practices.

Translator: Arnidhya, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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