Nicolette Dirk, finance writer, justmoney.co.za
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has served Thaba Selemo, Financial Services CC, a credit provider based in Tzaneen, with a compliance notice following its failure to comply with the provisions of the National Credit Act (NCA) regarding the charging of fees.
According to the NCR, Selemo Financial Services CC is in contravention of the Act in that the company required consumers to enter into an agreement to pay a fee to NuPayment Solutions (Pty) Ltd (“NuPay”). This is not listed as a permissible charge under a credit agreement.
Selemo Financial Services exceeded the maximum service fee of R50. The credit provider also convinced consumers to enter into supplementary agreements or sign documents that contain provisions that would be unlawful if they were included in the credit agreements.
The NCR has been clamping down on credit providers who have been contravening the Credit Act. Earlier this year thirteen individuals were arrested after the NCR and the South African Police Service (SAPS) joined forces to stop abusive micro-lenders and ensure compliance with the NCA.
Nomsa Motshegare, CEO of the NCR, said the clampdowns are part of the NCR’s ongoing strategy to ensure that all credit providers comply with the provisions of the NCA.
“The exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by credit providers will not be tolerated,” she said.
Regarding the Selemo case, Motshegare said the NCR viewed contraventions of the Act in a very serious light given the negative consequences for consumers. She urged credit providers to comply with the provisions of the Act when granting credit.
Compliance with the NCA
According to the NCR, Thaba Selemo Financial Services CC is required to take steps as set out in the Compliance Notice. These include no longer requiring consumers to pay the NuPay service provider fee and charging service fees in excess of the maximum prescribed service fee with immediate effect.
The credit provider is also required to reimburse all consumers who have been charged the NuPay service provider fees and service fees in excess of the maximum prescribed fee within 30 business days.
“Within 45 business days they must furnish the NCR with a sworn affidavit confirming the refunds to the affected consumers, attaching a list of the names of the consumers refunded and the amounts of refunds made. Thaba Selemo Financial Services’ auditor must also submit an assurance certificate as per NCR directives,” said the NCR.