SCA Rule Against NCR in Fraud Record Case
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) felt strongly that the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) were breaking the requirements of the National Credit Act in storing information about consumers who commit fraud for longer than a year. The NCR felt that this information was simply a type of negative credit report listing and needed to disappear after some months to not negatively affect a consumers chances of gaining access to credit down the line. They have been fighting with the SAFPS for some time now and the matter has been progressively climbing through the country’s legal system at great costs to all parties.
The SAFPS argued before the Supreme Court that it was necessary to keep such information for much longer to help prevent credit providers from falling prey to repeated fraud efforts by lawbreakers and criminals (who may also be credit users). Such individuals blatantly lie to credit providers even going so far as to manufacture pay slips and fake proof of employment and residential information with the intention of never repaying credit granted.
SCA Ruling & NCA Section 3
The Supreme Court of Appeal considered the case and concluded that if information about a consumer who through unplanned circumstance is sequestrated is kept for 10 years then surely information about purposeful criminal behaviour too could be kept for longer than 12 months. It concluded that such fraudulent activity is not simply a regular negative credit listing but is much more.
‘The SCA felt that removing such listings prematurely could ultimately hurt the credit industry and would not protect consumers as the NCA intended’
The ruling linked back to the stated purpose of the National Credit Act which it feels would be undermined if such information was removed too swiftly. It also pointed to the need for sensible and businesslike findings in regard to NCA statute. The SCA felt that removing such listings prematurely could ultimately hurt the credit industry and would not protect consumers as the NCA intended.
While the SAFPS was extremely happy to come out victorious, since their entire existence revolves around keeping these records, they were quick to publically acknowledge the vital role of the NCR in the credit industry and are pleased to gain additional clarity on the provisions of the NCA and the spirit of the law.