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CityPress - - Business - EDITED BY AN­GELIQUE RUZ­ICKA

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.

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