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 Hill-Lewis, 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 [email protected] 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.