Latvia: Mintos in Disagreement with Consumer Right Protection Centre over Interpretation of Regulation

Recently launched p2p lending marketplace Mintos is in disagreement with a consumer right protection body of the government over the interpretation of rules regulating lending to consumers and whether Mintos is conducting business within these rules or not.

Two statements were published on the internet (here and here) last Friday that state, that while Mintos has the necessary license to lend to consumers, it failed to mention during the application that it would receive deposits from third party investors and make assignment of loan parts to these investors, for which in the view of the PTAC it lacks the necessary license. In the statement the body asks Mintos to cease continuing with this practise.

P2P-Banking.com contacted Mintos CEO Mārtiņš Šulte on Friday evening and received this comment by him: ‘To put it shortly Consumer Right Protection Centre (CRPC) has asked us to provide additional information on how peer-to-peer process works at Mintos. Before launching Mintos we did an in-depth legal due diligence and we are confident that we are working in accordance with all aplicable regulations.
The peer-to-peer (or better, marketplace) lending is still nascent industry and regulators in general around Europe are still debating on how to best respond to it. As forerunner of peer-to-peer lending in Latvia we have already had discussions with regulators and will continue to engage with them and help with information where necessary. We will hold an official press conference on Monday to encourage further discussion.

DB.lv has an article about the outcome of this press conference. Further news articles on that topic were published by Delfi.lv and and Tvnet.lv. So the counterstrategy of Mintos seems to be to offer increased protection for investors and borrowers, which are now both able to withdraw from the transactions for a duration of three months.

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