NCR Monitoring Visits & Investigations
When the NCR Comes Knocking
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) register and monitor those working in the credit industry including Debt Counsellors, PDAs, ADRAs and Credit Providers.
Part of the NCR’s mandate is to check that registrants are doing everything correctly and in line with the National Credit Act.
This is why the NCR conduct regular compliance monitoring visits. During such visits they will check on a few things (are certificates displayed, stickers by the door etc). They will also then ask for a random selection of client files to see how you handle matters.
It is important to cooperate with the NCR during such mandatory visits. Recently, the NCR had some difficulty when trying to visit a Debt Counsellor or two in the Western Cape. A break down in communication led to the Debt Counsellors staff not believing it really was the NCR at the door. Voices were raised, threats were made and eventually the Cops were called in to help force the issue. Things got really out of control and it resulted in great difficulty for all involved.
This is the kind of thing all Debt Counsellors and credit providers want to avoid as it can escalate all the way to the NCT and possible deregistration.
Tips For Debt Counsellors
Here are a few simple tips that can help things run smoothy during a NCR monitoring visit.
Useful Tips For a Monitoring Visit:
- Cooperate with the process
- Treat the NCR officials with respect.
- Prepare and get all relevant staff and records ready
- Stick to appointments
- Provide requested documents and files asap.
- Settle any non-compliance matters straight away. Don’t delay.
- If things don’t go well and a contentious issue comes up get legal advice asap.
- Take these visits seriously as you could end up deregistered.
If the NCR are investigating complaints, then it is also important to make as much information as possible available to the NCR.
Many of the tips above also apply to any such visits. Except they may not make an appointment before and do not have to. But you can ask to see their papers (no photos of them) and you can call the NCR HR department and check they are legitimate if you are concerned.
When dealing with such complaints or an investigation be sure to provide detailed explanations in a clear and simple way so that they can properly evaluate the complaint and find the way forward.
Don’t hold back and don’t minimise complaints. Yes, it can result in a lot of extra work but it can help you avoid being referred to the NCT for a fine or worse.