Banks interest rates ‘scandal’ Fleeced companies recover $200k
THE Interest Research Bureau (IRB) has recovered about $200 000 in overcharged interests rates on loans borrowed from banks by 10 different companies.
The Directors’ Protection Council of Zimbabwe (DPCZ) had complained over the calculation of interest rates by some banks, which they felt prejudiced their members.
DPCZ chief executive officer Mr Reggies Sibanda said the recovery of the $200 000 followed recent engagements with the IRB in Bulawayo on July 29 this year.
IRB is an independent and privately owned firm that has come up with a programme to assist companies to re-compute borrowed loans from day one up to the end of the loan’s tenure before coming up with a report, which is presented to the bank.
“Following the breakfast meeting that we hosted in July, some of our members have approached the Interest Research Bureau for a recalculation of interest on loans.
“It has since been established that the companies have collectively been overcharged on interest rates on loans about $200 000,” said Mr Sibanda.
Since the adoption of a multicurrency system in February 2009, a number of companies have been faced with litigations for failing to their loans.
This has seen defaulting businesses losing valuable assets while others have been placed under judicial management.
IRB managing director Mr confirmed the development.
“After our meeting in Bulawayo in July, we had an influx of accounts from Bulawayo. We have so far recovered about $200 000 as a result of overcharging on interest rates on loans.
“The unfortunate thing is that most of Jani Jani these accounts have judgements and if that happens the matter becomes complex for us to handle,” he said.
“We are urging businesses that if you have a dispute with creditors over NonPerforming Loans (NPLs), it is better to defend the matter so that a judgment is not issued by the courts.”
Mr Sibanda could not reveal the names of affected companies and implicated banks but said after the recalculation of interest rates on borrowed loans, their council has approached the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, which has not disputed the borrowers concerns.
“We’ve engaged BAZ over the matter and in most cases banks have not contested the figures the Research Interest Bureau has presented but they have tried to find scapegoats.
“We are saying there is need to relook at this issue as a serious matter and with a sense of urgency,” he said.
Mr Sibanda urging other businesses to make sure that interest rates on their NonPerforming Loans (NPLs) are verified by the Interest Research Bureau.
IRB has attributed the overcharge on interest rates to a number of reasons among them human error, software factors, and sometimes deliberate as the system at times would have gone haywire.
Mr Sibanda said his organisation has also engaged the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (ZAMCO) on buying out NonPerforming Loans from the Directors Protection Council’s members.
He said their council would continue engaging banks, the Sheriff ’s office and Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe over the auctioning of business assets.
“Our economy is bleeding; we all know that and we should take cognisance of that,” he said.
Commend could not be obtained from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.
Mr Reggies Sibanda