Consumers sue bank for fraud

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Consumers take Standard Bank to court

Charges of civil fraud have been laid against Standard Bank (case number 34355/2012) in the Johannesburg High Court.

The charges include:

– Five counts of misrepresentation
– Five counts of fraud
– Three breaches/contraventions of the Bank Act

In theory, all 19 million South Africans who have “credit” could make similar claims against their bank. This is primarily due to securitisation, a process that the banks are extremely secretive about.

This important case argues that a bank is not allowed to pretend that a customer is indebted to it. Banks send out regular statements of account. They collect monthly payments, they make claims for money and even threaten to take assets away on public auction. According to the evidence presented, all of this is illegal because the bank has secretly sold the debt to a third party, and in doing so loses its claim of right. In fact, the bank has already profited as a result of the securitised sale, and investors are protected by an insurance policy in case of a default.

The case document is very easy to read here: http://downloads.newera.org.za/Summons_34355_12.pdf.

Other interested parties:

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NewERA shares the view that banks must disclose to the customer that their loan or credit card has been settled by a third party because it impacts their legal standing.

While this is a civil fraud case, the Ubuntu political party is investigating a case of criminal fraud as well.

More than 200 people have already indicated that they would join the proposed criminal charges against their bank.

Please email criminalbanks@ubuntuparty.org.za if you wish to come forward with information.

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