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|Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd found to be in breach of the National Credit Act|
|Monday, 19 September 2016|
The National Credit Regulator (NCR), referred Lewis Stores Ltd (Lewis Stores) and Monarch Insurance Company Ltd (Monarch) to the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) last year, following an investigation by the NCR which revealed that :-
· loss of employment cover as part of credit insurance was sold to pensioners and self-employed consumers; and
· disability cover as part of credit insurance was sold to pensioners.
Jacqueline Peters, Manager: Investigations and Enforcement at the NCR says that the basis of the NCR’s referral was that the sale of loss of employment cover to pensioners and self-employed consumers was unreasonable and imposed an unreasonable cost on such consumers. The same applied to the sale of occupational disability cover to pensioners where they no longer had an occupation, said Peters.
The National Consumer Tribunal in a judgement handed down today has agreed with the NCRs’ submissions and found that Lewis Stores:-
· had acted unreasonably by offering or demanding pensioners or unemployed consumers to take out loss of employment insurance;
· had acted unreasonably by offering or demanding pensioners to take out disability insurance; and
· was guilty of prohibited conduct for breaching the National Credit Act 34, 2005.
The NCT has further:-
· interdicted Lewis Stores from engaging in this conduct in future;
· has ordered that an independent audit be conducted on all credit agreements entered into by Lewis Stores since 2007; and
· has ordered that all affected consumers, identified in the audit, be reimbursed the premiums paid for this insurance.
The NCR considers this a great victory and will be returning to the NCT to argue the imposition of a fine on Lewis Stores said Peters.
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