Banks forfeit billions of rand each year in their effort to assist consumers in financial distress who find it difficult to repay their loans. The Banking Association SA (Basa) made this submission in its latest comments on the draft National Credit Amendment Bill, which is under discussion by Parliament’s trade and industry committee. The association noted that banks had forgone R3.4bn in interest and fees in 2016 and R4bn in 2017, to assist consumers in financial difficulty. These debt-relief measures include repayment arrangements, temporary payment holidays and concessions on interest rates, fees and charges. The bill provides for the extinguishment of debt of heavily indebted consumers who earn a gross monthly income of no more than R7,500, have unsecured debt amounting to R50,000 and have been determined as critically indebted by the National Credit Regulator. The banking industry is opposed to the proposal on the grounds that it will result in a restriction of credit to the l...

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