Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Dec 2009

FINANCE: NCR Commissions Debt Counselling Marines


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The National Credit Regulator has announced that it has set up a task team to provide solutions to the bottlenecks in the debt review process. According to the regulator’s statistics, the number of consumers who have applied for debt counselling has risen to 130 000.

On average 9000 new consumers apply for debt counselling per month. This is likely to increase in the coming months. It is urgent that an interim solution be found whilst we await changes to the legislation.

“While it was to be expected that there would be teething problems in implementing the two and a half year old National Credit Act (NCA), the only one of its kind worldwide, we decided we needed to act decisively to bring the situation under control,” said Gabriel Davel, the CEO of the NCR.

The Task Team on Debt Counselling will initially focus on “quick wins” and is anticipated to have a life span of about 6 months. It is comprised of individuals selected for their experience and knowledge in the field.

The Task Team is chaired by Advocate Neville Melville, whose experience as former Banking Ombudsman and dispute resolution expert is seen by the NCR as critical in mediating between the different parties.

Gabriel Davel, CEO of the NCR, believes that Advocate Melville has both the reputation and experience that would be critical in mediating between the various parties, and in ensuring that the interventions proposed are defendable.

Advocate Melville welcomed the spirit of commitment displayed by members of the Task Team and their determination to resolve the problem.

He is hopeful that the team will be able to bring about a significant improvement in the backlogs that are impacting negatively on both consumers and creating increasing risk to credit providers, and the banking industry in particular.

He concluded that every effort will be made to engage with all the relevant stakeholders in the course of finding solutions.

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