HEARD on the street
NCR REFERS MR PRICE TO TRIBUNAL
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has accused Mr Price Group of breaching the National Credit Act (NCA) and has referred it to the National Consumer Tribunal.
Following an investigation, the NCR said it found Mr Price had charged consumers a club fee on credit agreements, which is not permitted under the NCA.
“The NCA allows consumers to be given a quotation, which sets out the cost of credit before signing credit agreements.
“Consumers should request this quotation from their credit providers so that they can properly check the cost of credit that is being offered,” says Nthupang Magolego, senior legal adviser at the NCR. The NCR is asking the tribunal to:
Order Mr Price to refund the affected consumers who had been charged club fees;
Order Mr Price to conduct an independent audit into its loan book to determine the number of consumers to be refunded;
Interdict Mr Price from charging consumers a club fee on credit agreements; and,
Impose an appropriate administrative fine on Mr Price.
The NCR added that it would continue to conduct industry-wide investigations on the cost of credit to root out illegal fees that consumers are charged.
FNB LAUNCHES MONTHLY FEE-FREE ACCOUNT FOR YOUTH
FNB has launched FNBy, a fully transactional account that will not charge a monthly fee. It is aimed at the youth (customers below the age of 18) and can be used for daily banking and savings needs.
Meanwhile, customers aged between 18 and 25 will be subject to paying a R10 monthly fee, with free access to inContact, online and cellphone banking through FNBy accounts.
FNB also launched FNB Fusion Premier, which charges customers a R199 monthly fee. It enables customers to manage all transactions and get rewards with only one card. FNB claims it offers the best of what a fully transactional account, overdraft facility and credit card can offer.
“For example, customers will be able to use their salaries or incomes to repay the outstanding balance on their accounts, thereby avoiding the risk of revolving their credit card balances,” said FNB.
Both accounts were launched on July 1, along with the bank’s annual account pricing changes.
CMS WITHDRAWS ACCREDITATION FOR STRATA
The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has withdrawn the accreditation of Strata Healthcare Management as a managed care organisation from May 31 2017.
The medical scheme regulator said this followed Strata’s failure to meet “the fit and proper” criteria for rendering medical scheme administration services, as set out in the Medical Schemes Act. The decision was taken by the CMS during a meeting held on May 31 2017.
This was preceded by a CMS executive committee decision not to renew Strata’s accreditation as a medical scheme administrator in December 2015.
Strata previously provided administration and managed care services to Medihelp medical scheme, one of the five largest medical schemes in South Africa, with around 220 000 members. All the scheme’s administration and managed care services are now vested in Medihelp, following the sanctions imposed by the CMS on Strata.