Banks taken to task over repossessions

2012-08-17 14:12

An advocacy group has taken South Africa’s big four banks, as well as the South African Reserve Bank, to the high court for a full investigation into the banking system and seeks to halt all legal action by the banks, according to a report.

The New Economic Rights Alliance has called for the system of moneylending by Absa Group, Standard Bank Group, FNB and Nedbank Group to be declared unlawful, TimesLive reported.

The group’s legal representative, Raymond Hicks, said in the report that thousands of homeowners had their homes unlawfully repossessed by the banks.

“Banks are lending out computer-generated promises used as money but the assets they foreclose on, and the lives they destroy, are very real,” the advocacy group is quoted as saying.

The four banks and the South African Reserve Bank have reportedly received summonses.

“Absa does not believe that the action has any merit and intends defending the matter at an appropriate time,” a legal representative for Absa is quoted as saying.

An FNB spokesperson told the publication the bank would defend the allegations and that it was an industry matter.

The rights group claims to have about 115 000 supporters and 1 000 co-plaintiffs. The case is expected to be heard by the middle of 2013.

– Fin24

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