Picture: WESBANK
Picture: WESBANK

Wesbank should be fined by the National Consumer Tribunal for coaxing defaulting customers into surrendering their cars, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) said on Thursday morning.

This enabled FirstRand’s vehicle financing arm to avoid the hassle of getting court orders required for repossessions, said NCR manager of investigations and enforcement Jacqueline Peters.

The regulator’s investigation found the procedure used by Wesbank’s debt collection agents undermined the voluntary nature of the surrender process set out in the National Credit Act, and it was therefore referring Wesbank to the tribunal.

"The voluntary surrender procedure provided in the National Credit Act is one of the options available to a consumer who is in default under a credit agreement. The consumer also has the right to apply for debt review," Peters said.

"Consumers are reminded that a credit provider can only repossess a motor vehicle from the consumer if there is a court order authorising the credit provider to do so."

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