Banks taken to task over repossessions

2012-08-17 15:04

Cape Town - An advocacy group has taken SA's big four banks as well as the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) 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 the system of money-lending by Absa Group [JSE:ASA], Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK], FNB and Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] 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 Sarb 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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  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-17 15:36

    Good, about time. In the old days, the Bank robbers came from the outside, now they run the Banks.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-08-17 16:23

      This is FANTASTIC! I've been following the NERA for a while now and getting updates via email etc. This is the first time I've seen it in any mainstream news. Well done you guys, you will only gain more support!

  • djmain1 - 2012-08-17 15:40

    AWESOME!!! The bankers are the scam artists of our time. They flout the law daily and fraudulently rob ordinary people of their hard-earned money. In the Banks Act, it is specifically stated that banks may not securitize loans and yet they do this all the time. As can be seen from all the banking scandals around the world, bankers are a law unto themselves. It's time that bankers were sent to jail - that MIGHT stop their criminal behaviour.

      harounkola - 2012-08-17 20:47

      All bankers should emigrate to Iran!

  • ivan.faught - 2012-08-17 15:41

    I just love to see how they will fail

  • UNITY - 2012-08-17 15:43

    Oh yes, please take them to task! The difference in defining Maslows hierarchy of needs is..the ability to interpret who can get credit and who should not! Then if the consumer can't pay, why not offer them a debt protection plan, like short term risk cover as compulsory top ups over their loans! The banks are ruthless lenders! They must take fully responsibility can't expect human impulses see down the line of their debt! You as the institution are responsible for ensuring u don't lead the consumer to a level of depression! Declining the application for those who don't meet the minimum requirements plus protecting the bank and consumer is imperative to long term sustainability.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-17 16:03

    There is nothing wrong with Banks lending money on adequate security, or with enforcing their security. Commerce and industry would die otherwise. The harm comes when Banks sell dubious loans to enforcement sharks and pension schemes; the former having no reputation to guard, the latter being generally left with paper money. The 2008 financial crash alerted the public to the harmful side.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-08-17 16:26

      I take a loan from the bank. The bank sells my loan on the open market and makes a profit. The bank expects me to pay them back, but I don't owe them the money, I owe the money to whoever bought my debt on the open market. I can't pay my debt any more (50% paid). Bank repossesses my house and auctions it off for more profit. Now tell me how on earth that is legal.

      SarelJBotha - 2012-08-18 07:47

      The problem is that they are "lending" something that does not exist, but wants to get repaid in REAL money or labour for that matter.

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-17 16:13

    I've heard some horror stories regarding these repossessions. Besides that, our Banks really are a Law unto themselves. This will be very interesting.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-08-17 16:28

      Six bank employees gave you a thumbs down... talk about sheepil.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-17 17:33

    There are wretched repossession cases but they can be remedied by compulsory insurance against death and unemployment. The 2008 scandal (in the United States) was the opposite one of lending more than the value of the security. This is inflationary, but I am at loss to see how a Court action attacking credit in general is the answer

  • Leah - 2012-08-17 17:33

    Banks actively allowed the consumer to over extend without any formal vetting. Mailing credit cards, approving overdraft limits based on behavioural scoring systems etc. No proper measures were in place. Home loans approved at the 30% max repayment to income ratio without checking the available disposable income. Home loans were extended beyond property values, owners were allowed to build and extend without assessors going out and checking and approving progress. They created this scenario, feeding an ever growing hunger for debt. Take them to task I say

  • scott.cundill - 2012-08-17 19:14

    WOOHOOO!!! This statement here should be copied around the world: "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.

      komorison - 2012-08-17 23:22

      And the "money" the lend you is created out of n o t h i n g .. thin air.

  • harounkola - 2012-08-17 20:43

    What's happening in our country is what's happening all over the world. With the massacre at Lonmin yesterday, the masses are awakening to a the corrupt fraud that governments, big business, the military/industrial and banking/legal systems that we're enslaved in.\r\n\r\nThe slaves are beginning the uprising..

      harounkola - 2012-08-17 20:48

      I'm one of the supporters :-)

      SarelJBotha - 2012-08-18 07:50

      Sadly the slaves have not realized that they are free and can change their vote. Therefore they are slaves and nothing will change. The recent Lonmin thing just showed them that even this ANC regime they voted for care nothing or even lessfor them, same as any other government previously.

  • - 2012-08-17 20:54

    This case is going to be interesting. It's about time somebody took a stand. The banks have become greedy and put profits first, recklessly approving credit cards and loans irrespective of whether the client can afford it or not.

  • komorison - 2012-08-17 23:25


  • barbora.tellinger - 2012-08-18 08:25

    Yes, it IS an "industry matter", as said by the FNB spokesman. An industry so self serving and immoral it completely ignores the fact that, without the people, it has no industry. When will they understand that the people have had enough and there is no going back? We understand how you function. If you cannot change it, we will.

  • aiazmir - 2012-08-18 08:42

    I support this action against banks 100%. There ia an unholy alliance between banks, lawyers and the auction industry. Slowly this alliance is being unravelled, and the sooner the better. One young lady had her repossessed house sold for R 1000. Others have experienced similar results. How can the banks get away with this when they are lending something they don't possess (i.e. money). They "own" pieces of paper and create the money out of thin air. If this is not illegal, then what the hell are we waiting for. Let's deposit basket loads of thin air with the banks, and see if they can "create" money from this.

  • deon.braun - 2012-08-18 10:31

    Time you lost some fat, banksters!

  • mark.peyton.90 - 2012-08-18 19:20

    I fear that we will discover, in due course, that the courts, politicians, regulators and financiers all bat for the same team. However, let's keep firing those yorkers!

  • abrie.jurgens - 2012-08-20 08:43

    Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people sharing all the world

  • Michael - 2012-08-20 09:55 These guys are like DEMAND PROGRESS and AVAAZ. If ANYONE in this country will EVER be on the side of the beleaguered South African citizen, these are the people. I met them personally, I've been following their story almost as long as I've been following the treasonous winding path of the banks. PLEASE - sign up, at least just for their newsletters to watch what's going on on. ABSA thinks it's nothing, but this is one of the biggest things to hit ANY country's economy. We are taking down the fat cats who have raped us since we were born.

  • in2mec - 2012-08-20 13:07

    Mid 2013, when it concerns every South African and SA's very well-being. "Justice delayed is justice denied."

  • tiaan.allers.7 - 2012-08-22 20:33

    Go view this interesting site about our debt problems and how it possibly can be solved.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-10-24 10:41

    We also need a lawful tax revolt; Those holding jobs or earning a wage have the fullest right to approach the employer as a collective and demand, not just a higher salary as in the recent past and present, but to also divert the personal taxes to the same type of trust account that I as a business owner use for this purpose. Doing it through a tax lawyer keeps it all above board. Not one person doing this that I have contact with has had any hassles from SARS since notifying them of such action. Their tax remittance gets done as usual, just no funds paid to SARS. The onus falls on SARS to implement legal means to recover the money, and that opens the door to dispute the way our money is handled and spent. This is the only way we can hurt the government where it counts and give the taxpayer(4.7 million) more control over what they and the non taxpaying majority(45.3 million) do with the money. Vat and levies are just drops in the bucket to the government, they survive on personal and company tax. We all just need to grow some backbone and act together.

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