Who Are The NCR?
The National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is the government organisation that oversees and regulates the South African credit industry.
The NCR’s primary goals are to protect consumers and promote responsible lending practices. They also have a number of other important functions such as registering and monitoring registrants.
The NCA and the NCR
The NCR was established under the National Credit Act (which came into effect across the country in 2007) and operates as a regulatory authority in the financial sector.
The origins of the NCR can be traced back to the need for added consumer protection in the credit market. Leading up to 2007 South Africa experienced significant issues with over-indebtedness and reckless lending practices for many years, which negatively impacted a lot of people, especially as access to credit exploded in the market.
To address these concerns (and others), Government introduced the National Credit Act (NCA), which led to the establishment of the NCR as a regulatory body to keep an eye on things.
What Do They Do?
The NCR’s primary focus is on regulating credit providers, such as banks, micro-lenders, and retailers offering credit facilities. They ensure that these institutions comply with the regulations outlined in the National Credit Act.
The NCR registers and monitors South Africa’s Debt Counsellors and Payment Distribution Agents (PDAs). They audit the PDAs regularly to ensure consumers’ funds are safe and are being sent to their credit providers swiftly.
Credit Bureaus and Alternative Dispute Resolution Agents (ADRAs) also fall under the purview of the NCR. These parties also need to report to the NCR and are registered by them.
The NCR also provides education and awareness programs to inform consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with credit. There can never be enough consumer education about these important topics .
Another important role the NCR fulfils is to handle complaints from consumers and refer them to the correct people to deal with such complaints. For example, they can refer people to the police, the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) or an appropriate Ombud. Sometimes the NCR will even take action against credit providers who engage in unfair or illegal practices. This could involve working with the cops to conduct raids on loan sharks and even taking them to court or the NCT.
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