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SARB nails ghost accounts

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Following complaints that commercial banks are looting cash into ghost accounts, the South African Reserve Bank made transparent its findings for unrecorded transactions at The Monetary Policy Review 2016, which was hosted at the Westin Hotel.

Commercial banks report that bank personnel could not be held responsible for the financial loses of its clients but that unrecorded transactions were a common problem across financial institutions nationwide.

The independent financial provider said the problem arose from the inability of bank personnel to capture the balance of payment of transactions resulting when assets cannot be identified by any financial institution. The transaction is, therefore, unrecorded.

“Consumers have to realise that the purchase of items or repayment on mortgages and accounts can become untraceable when the bank cannot identify the assets,” South African Reserve Bank deputy governor, Francios Groepe, explained.

Groepe further noted that capital down flow had declined due to untraceable transactions of exports.
Consumers were expected to spend more on repayments to credit providers leaving them with less buying power to spend on commodity goods.

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) stated that it received reports by debt counsellors of clients lodging complaints of unpaid debt. The regulator confirmed that the debt occurred due to fear that repayments made by consumers to creditors would be in vein.

“Consumers are afraid that their money will be taken from them, often resulting in repayments or accounts falling into arrears,” the regulator affirmed.

The NCR confirmed that the South African Reserve Bank’s findings did not explain duplicate payments made by consumers to creditors due to unrecorded transactions. It stated that customers were harassed by various consultants to make duplicate payments but that these payments could not be confirmed to them.

“Customers are called and told that they haven’t paid anything and if they give their statements they are told that it cannot be picked up on the system. The consultants are different everyday so people can’t remember who they speak to.”

VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)


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