Court dismisses racism claim against FNB

2013-05-29 08:39

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of First National Bank after bond recalculator Emerald van Zyl made claims of racism against the bank.

The court found the claim of racism was unfounded, and that Van Zyl showed a malicious disregard for the facts and an overriding desire to continue his vendetta against FNB, Business Day reported today.

Van Zyl had claimed Saambou Bank (later taken over by FNB) charged black people a higher interest rate than white people.

He alleged FNB was a racist bank.

During his campaign against the bank, he involved the African National Congress Youth League, Parliament, and the Human Rights Commission.

Van Zyl claimed to represent 400 claims ceded to him by people who entered into loan agreements with Saambou Bank.

He alleged Saambou, and later FNB, overcharged them with interest in excess of what they were obliged to pay in terms of the relevant loan agreements.

Acting Judge Louis Vorster found Saambou had not acted incorrectly, nor unreasonably, in making interest rate changes to its home-loan accounts.

As such there was no claim for any damages against FNB for former Saambou home-loan customers.

The judge agreed with a request by FNB for a punitive costs order against Van Zyl, who had waged a widespread campaign against the bank through the media.

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