NCR ap­points au­di­tor to check African Bank bad loans

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Na­tional Credit Reg­u­la­tor (NCR) has ap­pointed au­dit and ac­count­ing firm Nexia SAB&T to au­dit African Bank’s bad loan book for reck­less lend­ing, Ge­ordin Hil­lLewis, a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on trade and in­dus­try, has told Per­sonal Fi­nance.

Hill-Lewis, the Demo­cratic Al­liance’s shadow min­is­ter of trade and in­dus­try, has made re­peated calls for the reg­u­la­tor to au­dit the failed bank’s loan book.

He says the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee was no­ti­fied of the ap­point­ment of an au­di­tor, but was not given any de­tails of the man­date to the au­di­tor, save that it is to iden­tify reck­less lend­ing so as to pre­pare cases for the Na­tional Con­sumer Tri­bunal.

Per­sonal Fi­nance asked the NCR whether the au­di­tor would scru­ti­nise loans granted dur­ing a cer­tain pe­riod and, if so, what those dates were and how many credit agree­ments the au­di­tor would have to in­ter­ro­gate.

Jac­que­line Peters, the man­ager of in­ves­ti­ga­tions and en­force­ment at the NCR, says the au­di­tor will take a ran­dom sam­ple of agree­ments in the book of the bad bank. She would not be drawn on the size of the sam­ple or the scope of the man­date, say­ing it would not be fair to the bank to read about the scope of the man­date in the me­dia.

The au­di­tor must com­plete its work be­fore the end of the year, “as per our terms of ref­er­ence”, Peters says.

If you bor­rowed from African Bank bor­rower and you sus­pect you are a vic­tim of reck­less lend­ing, you should lodge a com­plaint with the reg­u­la­tor, while con­tin­u­ing to pay off your loan. You can com­plain by send­ing an email to com­plaints@ncr.org.za or file your com­plaint on­line: www.ncr.org.za/ sd-com­plaints.

The Na­tional Credit Act pro­vides for var­i­ous reme­dies when a con­sumer is found to have been granted credit reck­lessly. De­pend­ing on the out­come of the au­dit, con­sumers may be able to seek re­dress from African Bank.

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