With traditional banks, there is no doubt that they all belong to the Bank of Spain and are heavily regulated. Does the same happen with the financial institutions that have appeared in recent years and that offer online loans and fast loans? Who controls them? In what ways are we protected as clients and users of your financial services? In this article we will clear these doubts.
It is evident that, with so many types of loans, amounts, terms, costs and interests, not all entities are the same. However, the vast majority belong to this category: EFCs are private financial entities established in the form of a commercial company before the corresponding Commercial Registry, and their main business purpose is to grant loans. They do not offer deposits, accounts, or other products: only financing in its different modalities, management or issuance of credit cards, and the granting of guarantees.
As such, they answer to the Bank of Spain, which is the one who defines this category and who established it in its day. So they must be accredited against it and respond to what the Bank of Spain regulations establish. They are regulated in Law 5/2015, of April 27, which establishes creation conditions similar to those of banks, but with lower capital requirements.
On the other hand, there is a law in Spain called Law 16/2011, on consumer credit, which regulates the vast majority of loans and credits that these entities offer, their guarantees, and the limits of what the entities can or cannot do. So, with a law for entities and another for products, all guarantees are ensured for the customer.
If the amount granted is less than 200 euros, private equity entities that offer microcredits should not register as EFCs and do not respond to the Bank of Spain. Fortunately, there are very few entities that offer this product exclusively: most offer larger amounts as well, which forces them to register as EFC so as not to limit their own market. Other specialized companies are as reliable as any other entity.
Many of these entities also self-regulate through the creation of the Spanish Association of Microloans (AEMIP), with a code of good practices and principles that allow to extend the protection of clients.
There are many pages that allow you to search for loans and others that collect customer data and send them personalized offers through the search for financiers on their behalf. This, as it is not a direct financial service, allows the client to deal directly with the entity that lends him the money. They may or may not charge for this service, regardless of whether the client confirms the loan or not.