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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.

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