India central bank recommends separate laws for digital lending

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FILE PHOTO: Reserve Bank of India logo is seen at the gate of its office in New Delhi

MUMBAI (Reuters) -A working group of the Indian central bank has recommended setting up a self-regulatory organisation covering participants in digital lending.

The recommendation came as part of its report on digital lending through online platforms and mobiles applications.

The central bank report said separate legislation must be made to prevent illegal digital lending activities and that all data must be stored in servers in India.

The committee recommended that data collection should happen only with prior and explicit consent of the borrowers.

"The thrust of the report has been on enhancing customer protection and making the digital lending ecosystem safe and sound while encouraging innovation," it said.

The digital lending app industry had attracted the scrutiny of the central bank and the police after several complaints relating to violation of privacy and harassment by recovery agents.

To address those issues, the RBI set up the six-member working group in January to evaluate digital loans and identify risks posed by unregulated digital lending to financial stability, regulated entities and consumers.

(Reporting by Nupur Anand and Swati BhatEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Bernadette Baum)

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