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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cut, Cut, Cut

Well, the recent economic "down turn" seems likely to bring further rate cuts.

As Tito and "the boys" (the the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee ) sit down this week to look at a possible one base point reduction in the rate consumers hold their collective breathe.The central bank has basically doubled the frequency of its normal meetings since March and will now meet every month this year (except for July) to better respond to shifting global economic developments.

Financial market turmoil and recession in the USA and Europe have knocked the SA economy, hitting exporters and the vehicle industry as well as the manufacturing sector, which has experienced a serious decline.
Manufacturing output fell 15% year-on-year in February and Mining production fell by 12.8% in Feb. Mining is of course a huge factor in the SA economy.

Analysts are now predicting we could even see the repo at 7.5% by year-end.

The central bank's monetary policy committee meet today and tomorrow and central bank Governor Tito Mboweni will announce its rate decision around 15:00 next Thursday.
Cut,Cut,Cut...that's a wrap.

Monday, April 20, 2009

NCR Crack Down on naughty lenders

In a bid to stem the abuse of consumers by lenders and ensure compliance with the National Credit Act (NCA), the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has conducted ten joint onsite investigations (raids) with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the North West Consumer Affairs offices in Rustenburg which led to the arrest of three lenders who contravened the National Credit Act.
Specifically, the three lenders were arrested for obtaining and withholding consumers’ bank cards, ID books and pin numbers. This practice is a criminal offence in terms of the Act.
According to Jan Augustyn, Manager for Investigations & Prosecution at the NCR, the SAPS/Prosecutors will follow their own procedures with the arrested lenders and the NCR will consider its own enforcement actions against these lenders, which may include taking the matter to the National Consumer Tribunal.
The NCR is awaiting reports from its investigators which may also indicate other contraventions.
Two registered credit providers have in recent months been closed down by the Tribunal for retaining bank cards and pin’s.
“There will be more of these investigations in different places going forward to ensure that we root out this kind of behaviour by lenders,” said Augustyn.
Augustyn stressed the point that consumers must not leave their personal documents such as their ID’s, bank cards, pin numbers with credit providers because it is against the provisions of the National Credit Act.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Times are tough

Recent figures released by the major papers are reporting some scary statistics.

Since November 08 more than 115 000 people have lost their jobs. The projections are that a further 200 000 or even 300 000 people will loose their jobs this year.

The motor sector is one sector that has been badly hit. Many in this industry are dependent on commission. This is, of course, a major problem since the latest figures report a 30% decline in sales over this period from last year meaning that commissions are down.

As a result the NCR project that we will see another 50 000 applicants(at least) this year with the figure looking to be higher as awareness of the debt review process grows.