‘ONE-SIDED REPORT’: Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie
JOHANNESBURG - Capitec Bank has thanked its more than 9.5-million clients for their support this week.

Many customers jumped-in to support the bank when it came under attack yesterday by Viceroy. Capitec clients took to Twitter and Facebook, rallying behind the bank and its values of simplicity and transparency.

Viceroy, a New York-based research house, consisting of three unknown traders released a report with allegations about the bank’s finances and operations without contacting Capitec for input. Viceroy has publically admitted that it benefits from a drop in Capitec’s share price.

CEO of Capitec Bank, Gerrie Fourie, has come out strongly in defence of Capitec, while the SA Reserve Bank, responsible for ensuring that banks operate within a regulatory framework and have enough money to service its clients, also came out with a supporting messaging for the bank, saying “Capitec is solvent, well-capitalised and has adequate liquidity”.

“Our banking regulators have a solid track record – in fact, our banking industry is seen as one of the best in the world – Capitec therefore operates in a very stable environment with a track record of 17 years of transparency,” said Fourie.

Clients queue outside Capitec Bank Cape Town Grand Central branch. Viceroy Research, which exposed financial failings in the Steinhoff Group, have released a report expressing serious misgivings about Capitec Bank’s financial position. Picture: Armand Hough/ANA/African News Agency
Fourie says that he is touched by the support from Capitec’s client base as displayed on social media and in personal messages.

He added that in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, the bank has decided to respond to the key allegations and the inaccurate statements.

See the responses to the allegations levelled against the bank below:

Allegation one: Capitec is a reckless lender

This is not true. We are very conservative in our client assessment to make sure that customers can afford to repay their loans. We value a long-term relationship and always aim to do what is in the best interest of our clients. We consider various factors before granting a loan, including past credit behavior on the credit bureaus, stable income validated by a pay slip, monthly expenses and the ability to pay back loans as assessed on client’s bank statements.

Allegation two: Capitec reschedules clients’ loans to make extra money

This is incorrect. Capitec only reschedules loans to assist its clients who cannot afford their repayments due to unforeseen circumstances, by re-negotiating the terms of the loans. A full credit and affordability assessment is done again, and rescheduling is only granted to clients after a strict review. No additional fees are earned by Capitec when the loans are rescheduled.

Allegation three: Capitec Bank is selling a product – multi-loans – which is not permitted by the National Credit Regulator

This is not correct. Capitec discontinued its multi-loan product when the NCR regulations changed in 2015. Our credit facility operates similarly to a credit card, except that clients repay the full outstanding amount every month and have to re-apply every 9 months. It is completely different to the past product.

Allegation four: Capitec Bank is the same as the failed African Bank and is a risk to investors and clients

Once again, this is devoid of truth. Capitec is a fully-fledged retail bank and has different sources of income, we don’t only grant loans, we also have transactional clients who deposit and save their money with Capitec Bank. This means we have various sources of income.

Gerrie concluded by saying: “Your money is safe with us – nothing has changed in our business. We will continue to be transparent and we remain committed to full disclosure. These accusations do not only hurt Capitec, it also damages our economy.”