The National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) has found that Lewis Stores is in breach of the National Credit Act (NCA).
This, after the National Credit Regulator (NCR) referred Lewis Stores and Monarch Insurance Company to the (NCT), last year.
An NCR investigation showed that Lewis Stores sold loss of employment to self-employed consumers, and disability cover as part of credit insurance to pensioners.
Jacqueline Peters, manager: investigations and enforcement at the NCR, said 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 the consumers. The same applied to the sale of occupational disability cover to pensioners when they were no longer employed.
The NCT has agreed with the NCR’s submissions and found that Lewis Stores had acted unreasonably by offering or demanding that pensioners or unemployed consumers take out loss of employment insurance; had acted unreasonably by offering or demanding that pensioners take out disability insurance; and was guilty of prohibited conduct for breaching the NCA.
“The NCT has 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 will be returning to the NCT to argue the imposition of a fine on Lewis Stores,” Ms Peters said.