Press Releases

Commencement of Debt Collection Act 2022

Published: 28 November 2023

The Debt Collection Act 2022 (DC Act) will come into effect on 1 December 2023.


2. On 13 September 2022, the DC Act was passed by Parliament to (i) regulate the debt collection industry by setting standards of entry into the industry and imposing licensing requirements on debt collection companies and debt collectors, and (ii) reduce problematic debt collection conduct by putting in place levers to take errant debt collection companies and debt collectors to task.

Regulating Debt Collection Activities

3. The key features of the DC Act include: 

(a) Licensing Regime for Debt Collection Companies. These companies must apply for a licence to carry out debt collection activities and will be held accountable for the conduct of their debt collectors. Applications may be submitted from 1 December 2023 via the GoBusiness Portal, and more information can be found on the Singapore Police Force’s website. Debt collection companies, including their key appointment holders, must also be assessed by Police to be fit and proper before they are allowed to offer debt collection services. With effect from 1 March 2024, all debt collection companies must be licensed to carry out debt collection activities. It will be an offence to do so without a valid licence. Existing debt collection companies may continue their business after 1 March 2024 provided they have already submitted an application for a licence, unless the application has been refused or withdrawn.

(b) Class Licensing Regime for Lower-Risk Entities. A class licensing regime will be introduced for entities that are regulated by other government agencies and that are engaged in lending and collecting money owed to their respective businesses. This includes banks, merchant banks, licensed credit card or charge card issuers, finance companies, and licensed and exempt moneylenders. While these entities do not need to be individually licensed, they must comply with the conditions of the class licence.

(c) Approval Regime for Debt Collectors. Any person who wishes to become a debt collector for a licensed debt collection company will have to put up a joint application with the debt collection company for the Licensing Officer’s approval. Debt collectors will be subject to Police’s screening and assessment to be fit and proper. Police may rescind approvals for debt collectors if they are found to have committed offences, or breached rules or regulations under the DC Act. Employees of class licensed companies collecting debts on behalf of their respective companies will not require Police’s approval. 

(d) Exclusion from DC Act. Entities whose debt collecting activities are deemed to pose a low risk of public disorder are excluded from the DC Act. This includes the Official Assignee, the Official Receiver, licensed insolvency practitioners, regulated legal practitioners and regulated non-practitioners, joint law ventures, licensed foreign law practices, qualifying foreign law practices, Singapore law practices, accounting corporations, accounting firms, accounting limited liability partnerships, chartered accountants, and public accountants. 

Enforcing Against Debt Collection Activities

4. Under the DC Act, unlicensed debt collection activities such as deploying unapproved individuals to act as debt collectors, would be criminal offences. Police will also act against regulatory breaches by licensees, class licensees and approved debt collectors. Such action includes the suspension or revocation of licences, disapplication of class licences, or cancellation of approvals.

5. Please refer to the Singapore Police Force’s website for more information regarding debt collection business licences.