Namfisa warns micro-lenders against withholding bank cards

16 Jan 2017 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 16 JAN (NAMPA) – The Namibia Financial Institutions' Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has warned mircolenders to refrain from withholding customers’ national identification documents (IDs), bank cards and bank personal identification numbers (pins) as assurance for timely repayment.
Namfisa Manager for Corporate Communications and Consumer Education, Victoria Muranda on Friday told Nampa as per regulation, microlenders are not allowed to keep customers’ bank automated teller machine cards or pins.
“Microlenders have been directed in Circular No II/ML/2/2011 dated 22 December 2011 by the authority not to retain consumers’ bank cards and pins as this practice of collecting monies due to cash loans are illegal and prohibited,” she said.
Muranda reminded cash loan companies to adhere to Government notice 196 of 2004 that stipulates maximum interest to be charged by microlenders may not be greater than two times the average prime rate.
Namibia’s prime rate is 10.75 per cent, and Muranda said the maximum interest rate to be charged may not exceed 21.50 per cent annually.
She urged customers to inform the complaints department at Namfisa head offices in Windhoek of microlenders that do not adhere to the regulations.
Muranda said 277 registered microlenders are under Namfisa surveillance, while 55 were de-registered in 2016 due to various factors such as non-compliance to registration conditions, dormancy and voluntary request.
She said during the third quarter of 2016, Namfisa statistics revealed that N.dollars 856 563 430.03 was disbursed to consumers by microlenders in Namibia.
Owner of Pika Quickloan, Albert Georg Piechazwk told Nampa on Monday they are not aware of the practice of withholding clients’ personal documents, cards and pins.
“We do not keep clients’ ID cards neither bank pins, which is against the rules,” he said.
He said clients are required to provide a consultant with IDs, bank statements of the last three months and their latest payslip for the microlender to make copies and give back to the owners.