DCASA Meeting (W Cape)
The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa (DCASA) holds regular regional meetings to keep members up to date with industry developments and to discuss local issues affecting members. In May DCASA Western Cape met in Parow.
The day was sponsored by Meliorleaf who presented at the meeting. They explained how their tailored insurance product meets the need of consumers under debt review. Some insurance companies feel that people under debt review are high risk. Meliorleaf say they understand this is not the case. There record with clients under debt review shows that they actually claim slightly less than most consumers. They offer one particular product which helps consumers not only cover the bank in the case of a vehicle write off but also to replace the vehicle with a “new set of wheels”.
Eugene Cilliers discussed the many benefits of being a member of DCASA from monthly newsletters to cheap tickets to the annual conference. He was followed by well-respected trainer Dawn Jackson who discussed, not only training challenges but how these days debt counselling companies can bring in trainers to do the course with staff part-time or after hours. This allows staff to continue to work during the week but also learn progressively over time. This is a major benefit to business owners who want to train their staff but are worried about losing productivity during the 10 days required for the course.
Our Editor, Zak King got to present some information about the annual Debt Review Awards. He asked if anyone attending the meeting had participated in the annual peer review. Almost all in attendance (both Debt Counsellor and Credit Provider) indicated that they had done so. He briefly explained the background processes, criteria and upcoming Awards gala.
After lunch, there was an industry round-up. CIF matters were discussed and it was stated that 2016 had been a bad year for CIF with limited accomplishments. The hot topic was industry fees and whether these will be raised or slashed. There was also a lot of discussion about how FNB are engaging with DCASA over the “splitting” of overdraft accounts from current accounts (and then adding fees to the current account while barring the consumer from using it). Also discussed was the pending Debt Therapy case over whether a court can grant an order which talks about interest rates where the credit providers say they are happy to take less interest than before.