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Acom investigated by Japanese regulator

Acom, one of Japan's largest consumer lenders, is being investigated by Japan's financial regulators over claims it may be engaged in abusive loan collection activity.

According to a report from the Financial Times, officials from the Kanto Local Finance Bureau are visiting the finance group’s offices, to investigate whether it is involved in unruly loan collection activities. Acom has confirmed an inspection is taking place.

The investigation, the second of its kind at Acom this year, comes at time when the Financial Services Agency is discussing the possibility of imposing tighter restrictions within the industry, which includes reducing the ceiling of the maximum interest rate from 29.2% to 20%, along with cutting advertising.

The proposed changes have not been welcomed by the industry, which claims the proposals could lead to closures and a fall in investment from foreign groups which own a large stake in Japan’s consumer loans groups.