US Justice Department sets sights on Wall Street executives

Posted 21 September 2015

The US Justice Department, stung by criticism that it let Wall Street executives off the hook by allowing their employers to pay fines, has now taken off the gloves. New rules issued to prosecutors require them to focus on individual employees in their investigations, which means more executives could spend time in jail.

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Nedbank CEO Mike Brown to challenge subpoena to appear at liquidation inquiry

Posted 25 June 2015

Nedbank CEO Mike Brown says he will challenge a subpoena calling on him to appear at an inquiry relating to the liquidation of Waterkloospruit Projects in 2001, when he was in charge of property finance at BOE Bank, later acquired by Nedbank. BOE picked up 137 stands for R100,000 in what is claimed was a sham auction, according to this article in Moneyweb.

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Concourt ruling means a sea change for banks

Posted 03 June 2015

The Concourt handed down a ruling in March that delivers a major blow to lenders. It suspends, once litigation has commenced, the operation of the so-called in duplum rule, which means lenders cannot then charge more than double the outstanding capital on a loan, according to this article from Werksmans.

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Meet the man who tried to arrest the board of Standard Bank

Posted 20 March 2015

Jonathan Buckley of Centurion in Pretoria may be the first South African in history to win six judgments against Standard Bank in one day. When the bank failed to comply with the court order compelling it to release documents related to loans he had taken out, he sued the directors for contempt of court.  

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SA banks under fire for high fees

Posted 16 February 2015

The ANC and Cosatu are threatening "drastic action" over high fees charged by SA's banks. The Democratic Alliance has warned against meddling with "free market forces" which is an odd statement for a sector in which there are just four major players. Hardly a free market at all. 

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Absa gets snot-klapped in Pretoria High Court by women's army

Posted 30 November 2014

Aba's troubles in its mortgage division just got a whole lot worse. Barely two months after losing two similar cases in the South Gauteng High Court, the bank folded before throwing a punch in the Pretoria High Court against two sisters who made startling allegations of fraud and misconduct against the bank. 

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Banks to be hit with avalanche of cases from dispossessed home owners

Posted 07 November 2014

South African banks are about to be hit with an avalanche of legal suits from dispossessed home owners whose properties were sold in execution at a fraction of their market value. They are arguing that this violates their Constitutional rights to property and fair administrative justice.

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How one man's life was ruined after asking uncomfortable questions of FNB

Posted 17 October 2014

Durban-based Nav Chan started questioning FNB's eBucks rewards calculations. Weeks later his accounts were cancelled and he found himself listed on a secretive banking database operated by SA Fraud Prevention Services. Suddenly, his business started to take a dive.  

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Banks resort to grabbing money out of your account as law closes in

Posted 20 September 2014

Banks are resorting to grabbing money out of customers' accounts in settlement of debts but this is soon to become illegal. Here's how to handle the situation, according to Wendy Knowler at Consumer Watch.

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Can Deloitte weasel out of this one?

Posted 12 September 2014

An inquiry into the demise of African Bank is likely to turn some stones and reveal some worms. The last major inquiry into a banking collapse involved Regal, by the same Advocate John Myburgh who has been asked to look into African Bank. His brief is to investigate reckless behaviour, possible fraud and negligence.

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Standard Bank denies reckless lending scheme in court

Posted 20 August 2014

Standard Bank has denied allegations of reckless lending to companies involved in so-called "reverse mortgage schemes." Borrowers using this system found they had to pay back up to six times the loan amount, and had title of their houses transferred to the credit provider.

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Smack down for Absa in Joburg High Court

Posted 04 August 2014

Absa bank was handed a stunning defeat in the South Gauteng High Court last week when it attempted to obtain summary judgment against two home owners. The judge argued that Absa's failure to produce the original loan agreements - which the bank says was destroyed in a fire - meant the matter has to go to trial.

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Johannesburg businessman defends himself in court against the bank - and wins

Posted 16 May 2014

Johannesburg businessman Damon Greville defended himself in the South Gauteng High Court this week against Sasfin Bank, which liquidated his 67 year-old business in 2012 and is now attempting to repossess his house. The judge found "substantive evidence" that the bank's legal standing was in question after Greville presented evidence of securitisation and bogus accounting by the bank.

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The vampire bank

Posted 28 April 2014

For a disturbing insight into modern banking ethics, look no further than the case of Royal Bank of Scotland and its "business turnaround" division called Global Restructuring Group. South African banking customers would be well advised to pay attention to this case.

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Banks are becoming obsolete - here's how

Posted 23 February 2014

Technology has leapfrogged the banking sector, rendering it as obsolete as the buggy whip. So why are we handing over 9% of the economy to an obsolete parasite, asks Charles Hugh Smith.

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The tide is turning against the banks - Part 2

Posted 29 October 2013

In Part 2 of our interview with Robyn Zimmerman, a consumer lawyer based in Cape Town, we look at what legal ammunition consumers can bring to their defence in cases where their homes are under threat of repossession, and we look at the fascinating case of Samsodien versus First National Bank. 

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The tide is turning against the banks - Part 1

Posted 24 October 2013

South Africa's courts have traditionally weighed in on the side of the banks when it comes to home repossession, even though the loans have been securitised and are now under new ownership. But the tide is turning against the banks, says consumer lawyer, Robyn Zimmerman.

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Credit amnesty for 1,6 million blacklisted South Africans

Posted 06 September 2013

The government has swept aside objections from the banking industry and decided to force credit bureaus to remove adverse credit information on 1,6 million South Africans - many of them public servants - who have been blacklisted but have paid off their debts. The move has been labelled a "vote catching" exercise ahead of next year's elections.

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Bankers face 10 years prison in Germany

Posted 01 August 2013

The entire executive board of HSH Nordbank in Germany face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of breaching trust. This is one of several trials involving bankers in Europe, and reflects mounting fury over the conduct of banks leading up to the financial crisis in 2008.

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Bankers should be jailed for reckless misconduct

Posted 19 June 2013

A new report by a UK parliamentary committee recommends jail time for bankers found guilty of reckless misconduct.

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Billionaire Shuttleworth seeks to have exchange controls banned

Posted 11 June 2013

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, who emigrated from SA in 2001, has brought an order before the Constitutional Court seeking to have exchange controls declared unconstitutional.

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Is this the biggest fraud in history?

Posted 29 May 2013

In this interview with NewERA's legal advisor, Raymondt Dicks, we ask whether the securitisation scandal as it has come to be known around the world is the biggest fraud in history. We also find out what's next for NewERA in light of a recent High Court judgement that appears to have energised the group's campaign to stop SA banks foreclosing on securitised loans.   

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Judgement opens a world of trouble for SA banks

Posted 20 May 2013

A judgement isssued last week in the South Gauteng High Court could open up a world of trouble for the banks. The verdict appears to buttress NewERA's claim that banks engaged in securitisation activities are violating statutes left and right, writes Arlene Levy. 

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NewEra ordered to appear in court

Posted 10 May 2013

NewEra has been ordered to appear in court on Tuesday 14th May on charges of "vexatious litigation" and has been asked to explain why its directors should not pay the banks' court costs, writes Arlene Levy.

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New Economic Rights Alliance brings heat to the banks

Posted 05 May 2013

The New Economic Rights Alliance (NewEra) has lodged a complaint with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) calling on it to force the major banks to disclose details of their securitisation transactions, which are reckoned to exceed R20 billion a month, writes Arlene Levy.

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