REGULATORY DIGEST ON “REGULATION No 65/04/2023 of 25/04/2023 GOVERNING NON-DEPOSIT TAKING FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDERS(NDFSPS)”
Non-Deposit taking Financial Service Providers(NDFSPs) supplement banks in providing financial services to individuals and firms. They are considered as the source of alternative finance and they can instil competition in the provision of lending service or similar services. While banks may offer a set of financial services as a package deal, these service providers unbundle these services, tailoring their services to particular groups. They promote competition within the financial services industry (World Bank, 2013).
Given this importance of NDFSPs, National Bank of Rwanda(NBR) has issued a new regulation No 65/04/2023 of 25/04/2023 governing Non-Deposit Taking Financial Services Providers(NDFSPs). This regulation establishes the licensing requirements and other rules governing the NDFSPs.
The regulation was eased to welcome more investors in alternative financial services and bring more innovative products in the financial sector.
Regulatory Key Highlights
As per the regulation, NDFSPs are classified into 4 categories with respective minimum capital requirements which may be in cash or in kind provided that the capital in kind does not exceed 30% of the total minimum capital required.
Category I: Frw 100 million minimum capital
Category II: Frw 50 million minimum capital
Category III: Frw 30 million minimum capital
Category IV: Special category;
This regulation accommodates Saving and Credit Association (Ibimina) that have mobilized at least Frw 500 million funds in circulation among group members;
Buy Now and Pay Later products that charge interests are accommodated;
Money Lenders lending to only individuals not legal entities are accommodated with capital of Frw 30 million;
Peer to Peer Lending (crowdfunding) are accommodated;
Pawnshops are accommodated;
Debt councilors are accommodated;
A foreign NDFSP can open up a subsidiary or branch in Rwanda;
NDFSPs can combine financial and non-financial business as long as the financial business covers at least 70% of the assets.
This regulation details the licensing requirements procedures for granting, suspending or revoking a license certificate for both domestic and foreign companies. A non-objection can be provided to the applicant to start operations with a period not exceeding 12 months upon fulfilling significant portion of the licensing requirements.
As per the regulation; activities and changes that include appointment of board members and management; opening, relocation and closure of the place of business; change of corporate name; acquisition. amalgamation or merger; should all be approved by NBR.
This regulation further allows a natural or legal person to own shares in NDFSPs up to the tune of 100%. Acquisition and transfer of significant shareholding should be approved by NBR.
In relation to corporate governance, the regulation provides the structure and composition of the board of directors and management for categories I and II. Outsourcing is allowed provided it does not lead to conflict of interest, however, outsourcing material functions or activities requires NBR’s approval.
Other than the general conditions, the regulation has specific provisions for some categories NDFSPs under chapter VI.
This Regulation comes into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda.
Implications for concerned stakeholders
The main implications of the current regulation on are:
All NDFSPs should pay a non-refundable application fee of FRW 100,000 and Frw 50,000 for Category I&II and Category III& special category respectively;
NBR has supervision role and NDFSPs should pay annual supervision fee with exception of category III and special category excluding debt collection service providers;
Any NDFSPs violating this regulation is liable for one or more administrative or pecuniary sanctions provided by this regulation;
A NDFSP may provide his or her financial services either face to face or digitally;
Any person that conducts the service covered under this regulation without authorization from the Central Bank shall be punished in accordance with relevant laws;
This regulation repeals:
The regulation no 2100 /2018-00011 of 12/12/2018 of the National Bank of Rwanda governing non-deposit taking financial service provider;
The regulation no 06/2016 of 26/09/2016 on licensing requirements and other conditions for carrying out finance lease operations and;
All other prior regulatory provisions inconsistent with this regulation.
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