Photo: Gene Puskar/AP
Johannesburg – Wesbank said on Thursday that it would cooperate with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) in its investigation of the bank's debt collection practices, but said it disagreed with the NCR on the interpretation of the National Credit Act.

This comes after the NCR referred Wesbank to the National Consumer Tribunal for alleged breaches of the National Credit Act following an investigation into the bank's debt collection practices.

The NCR said that its investigation revealed that Wesbank, through its debt collection agents, coaxed defaulting consumers into relinquishing possession of their motor vehicles, which undermines the voluntary nature of the surrender process.

The National Credit Act allows consumers under an instalment agreement, lease or secured loan to surrender the goods that they had purchased under these credit agreements.

Read also: Wesbank refered to National Consumer Tribunal

The voluntary surrender procedure provided in the National Credit Act is one of the options available to a consumer who is in default under a credit agreement. The consumer also has the right to apply for debt review.

WesBank said it had given its full cooperation with the National Credit Regulator, over the duration of the investigation, which commenced in 2014. "WesBank respects the Regulator's decision to refer the matter to the National Consumer Tribunal, however, disagrees with the conclusions reached by the National Credit Regulator in its application," Wesbank said in a statement.

"This referral does not constitute non-compliance with the National Credit Act but is instead a result of differing interpretation of the applicable legislation."

WesBank said it has a strong commitment towards achieving fair treatment of our customers and would continue to cooperate with the National Credit Regulator and the National Consumer Tribunal.