THE CENTRAL BANK of Ireland has issued warnings against four unauthorized companies offering loans to individuals.
These companies without authorization from the Central Bank are:
- The loan tree
- Vera Loans
- Leading loans
- Direct loans
The Central Bank said three of the above unauthorized firms cloned details – the name, registered address and Financial Conduct Authority registration number – from other regulated firms.
The Loan Tree, which is no longer operational, used the contact details of two companies licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.
Leading Lones and Direct Lends, which advertise loans on their website, have also cloned FCA registration details of FCA licensed companies in the UK.
The Central Bank noted that there was “no connection of any kind” between unauthorized entities and FCA-authorized companies whose contact details were cloned.
It is a criminal offense for an unauthorized company to provide financial services in Ireland which require the authorization of the Central Bank.
Consumers should be aware that if they are dealing with a business that is not licensed, they are not eligible for compensation from the Investor Compensation Program.
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If you want to contact the Central Bank with information on similar businesses, you can call: 01 224 4000. This line is also available to the public to check if a business is licensed.
You can find a complete list of unauthorized companies here.