Predatory loan apps back in full force

Nearly a year after suicides prompted a crackdown on potentially criminal digital lending schemes, not much seems to have changed. We investigate.

Towards the end of last year, a spate of suicides sparked investigations into predatory and often illegitimate loan apps, widely available on Google’s Play Store in India. The police in Telangana—where the initial reports of suicides originated—arrested a number of Chinese and Indian nationals. Investigative authorities across states jumped on the case and by the end of January this year over 30 arrests were made. 

According to police statements at the time, China-based entities that had partnered with small-time non-bank lenders in India, facilitated over 14 million transactions worth close to Rs 21,000 crore through four illegal or payday loan …


Advait Palepu

Advait is a financial journalist and a former writer at The Morning Context. Here, he wrote on India’s banks, the wider financial services industry and the fintech ecosystem. He has previously worked with the Economic and Political Weekly, Business Standard, BloombergQuint and MediaNama, where he covered everything from the Reserve Bank of India to fintech policy.