Complaints were lodged last Sunday as more than 100 maids lined up outside a newly popular moneylender in Singapore, blocking pedestrians and making a lot of noise.
The moneylending outlet became popular after it launched new tailor-made programs for foreign domestic workers last month.
Starting from April 15, the outlet on Jurong Gateway Road targeted foreign domestic workers by offering low interest rates and flexible repayment schemes, Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.
A maximum loan of S$1,000 (US$744) in cash could be immediately issued to a borrower who completed the application and had all the necessary documents ready.
Early on May 6, more than 100 maids reportedly queued outside the moneylender, chatting loudly all the way down the sidewalk, which was already restricted because of maintenance work.
A 47-year-old woman who owned a shop nearby said the moneylender used not to open on Sundays until mid-April. Its booming business, however, severely upset others because the crowds made too much noise and blocked the sidewalk, making it difficult for people to shop in the neighborhood.
At noon on Sunday, police were called for to help maintain order and discipline, but this only lasted two hours.
The manager of the moneylender told the reporters that it was charging a 10% service charge and the lending rate was fixed at 3.92%, as prescribed by the Registry of Moneylenders, for all applicants regardless of whether they were locals or foreign domestic workers.
A maid who wished to remain anonymous said this moneylender was popular in her circle because of the 4% interest rate and the flexible repayment terms compared with other outlets.