The Banking Association SA has come out strongly against any relief being extended to the overindebted, saying this would undermine the fundamental principles underpinning the banking system. Parliament’s portfolio committee on trade and industry has been deliberating for some time on whether some form of debt relief is necessary as slow economic growth, retrenchments and rising unemployment have diminished household income and made it difficult for consumers to repay their loans. The National Credit Regulator is also in favour of some form of debt relief. Public hearings were held on Tuesday to hear the views of various stakeholders including the Chamber of Mines, the Large Non-Bank Lenders Association, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Debt Counsellors Association of SA. Banking Association MD Cas Coovadia emphasised that legislated debt relief measures and criteria would have negative consequences as they would be too prescriptive. Debt relief measures n...

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