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Moneylenders Act

(Original Enactment: Act 31 of 2008)

(31st March 2010)
An Act for the regulation of moneylending and for matters connected therewith.
[1st March 2009: Except section 5(3)(b) ;
1st July 2010: Section 5(3)(b) ]
Short title and commencement
—(1)  This Act may be cited as the Moneylenders Act.
(2)  Section 5(3)(b) shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Authority” means the Monetary Authority of Singapore established under section 3 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 186);
“bank” means —
a bank licensed under the Banking Act (Cap. 19); or
a merchant bank that is approved as a financial institution under section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act,
and includes a finance company licensed under the Finance Companies Act (Cap. 108);
“body corporate” includes a limited liability partnership;
“business name”, in relation to a moneylender, means the name under which the moneylender is authorised by a licence to carry on the business of moneylending;
“business trust” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Business Trusts Act (Cap. 31A);
“company” has the same meaning as in section 4(1) of the Companies Act (Cap. 50);
“corporation” has the same meaning as in section 4(1) of the Companies Act;
“director” has the same meaning as in section 4(1) of the Companies Act;
“excluded moneylender” means —
any body corporate, incorporated or empowered by an Act of Parliament to lend money in accordance with that Act;
any person licensed, approved, registered or otherwise regulated by the Authority under any other written law, to the extent that such person is permitted or authorised to lend money or is not prohibited from lending money under that other written law;
any society registered as a credit society under the Co-operative Societies Act (Cap. 62);
any pawnbroker licensed under the Pawnbrokers Act 2015;
any person who —
lends money solely to his employees as a benefit of employment;
lends money solely to accredited investors within the meaning of section 4A of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289);
lends money solely to —
limited liability partnerships;
trustees or trustee-managers, as the case may be, of business trusts for the purposes of the business trusts;
trustees of real estate investment trusts for the purposes of the real estate investment trusts,
or who carries on any combination of such activities or services; or
any person carrying on any business not having for its primary object the lending of money in the course of which and for the purposes whereof he lends money;
“exempt moneylender” means any moneylender who has been granted an exemption under section 35 or 36 from holding a licence;
“firm” means an unincorporated body of 2 or more individuals, or one or more individuals and one or more corporations, or 2 or more corporations, who have entered into partnership with one another with a view to carrying on business for profit and that is registered under the Business Names Registration Act 2014;
[Act 29 of 2014 wef 03/01/2016]
“interest”, in relation to a loan, means any amount by whatsoever name called in excess of the principal paid or payable to a moneylender in consideration of or otherwise in respect of the loan, but does not include any permitted fee, stamp duty or other fee payable under this Act or any other written law;
“licence” means a moneylender’s licence issued or renewed under this Act, and “licensee” shall be construed accordingly;
“limited liability partnership” has the same meaning as in the Limited Liability Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A);
“moneylender” means a person who, whether as principal or agent, carries on or holds himself out in any way as carrying on the business of moneylending, whether or not he carries on any other business, but does not include any excluded moneylender;
“permitted fee”, in relation to a loan, means the costs, charges or expenses prescribed under section 22(1) that may be imposed on the borrower under the contract for the loan;
“principal”, in relation to a loan, means the amount actually lent by a moneylender under the contract for the loan;
“real estate investment trust” means a collective investment scheme that is —
authorised under section 286 or recognised under section 287 of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289); and
a trust that invests primarily in real estate and real estate-related assets specified by the Authority in the Code on Collective Investment Schemes and all or any of the units of which are listed for quotation on a securities exchange within the meaning of that Act;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Moneylenders appointed under section 4 and includes a Deputy Registrar of Moneylenders and an Assistant Registrar of Moneylenders appointed under that section;
“substantial shareholder” and “substantial shareholding” have the same meanings as in Division 4 of Part IV of the Companies Act (Cap. 50);
“unlicensed moneylender” means a person —
who is presumed to be a moneylender under section 3; and
who is not a licensee or an exempt moneylender.
Persons presumed to be moneylenders
3.  Any person, other than an excluded moneylender, who lends a sum of money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to be a moneylender.
Appointment of Registrar, etc.
4.  The Minister may appoint any public officer to be the Registrar of Moneylenders and such number of public officers as he thinks fit to be Deputy Registrars of Moneylenders and Assistant Registrars of Moneylenders under this Act.