Cruelty Of Banks Requires Mass Protests

By Pinky Khoabane

Angry protestors march to banks in New York 

AFTER last week’s court ruling giving banks the power to sell defaulting clients’ properties at whatever price they wished, it’s time to call for a people’s march against banks and the courts.

The exploitative system of monopoly capital is cruel and this was once more demonstrated in the ruling by the Pretoria High Court which gave Standard Bank the right to sell Given Nkwane’s house for R40,000. At the time of the sale the insurable value of the house was nearly R500,000. He took-out a loan at Standard Bank for R380,000 in 2011 and over the next three years he defaulted intermittently.

But his is not an isolated case as we’ve published stories of banks which had auctioned off people’s houses for as little as R100 in what Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation called “self-dealing by banks using repossessed properties as their stock in trade. Repossessed home are being sold to companies controlled or owned by the banks, and then on-sold for large profits to third party buyers. Therein lies the incentive to repossess homes for as little as R100”. We published their petition to President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate banks last week

This comes in the same week that the same bank decided to pay a CEO of it’s subsidiary R20million to stay in the post for the next five years. This is on top of all the millions he already earns in salary and other incentives. Moneweb report that “Standard Bank Group has awarded David Munro, which it installed as CEO of subsidiary Liberty Holdings last year, a R20 million incentive to stay in that position for five years. Munro will be paid R10 million on completion of three years at Liberty and the remainder after five years.

This is on top of the R15.944 million in remuneration (guaranteed pay and short-term incentives) Munro was paid for the first five months of the year as CEO of Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Bank division. Of his total reward for 2017 of R40 944 million, the bank says “74.2% (R30 400 million) will be deferred for up to five years”. This is comprised of the R20 million special incentive, R5.4 million in deferred short-term incentives linked to shares and R5 million in long-term incentives awarded under its performance reward plan (PRP).

Separately, Munro also received historical awards that had vested under the PRP and equity growth scheme in 2017. These totalled R25.928 million”.

In another story which demonstrates that banks do not necessarily intermediate between savers and borrowers, as postulated by the Financial Intermediation Theory and the Fractional Reserve Theory (they don’t necessarily lend money that is saved) but that the mortgage bond you have with your bank is money the bank lent you that was just created by way of a book entry, we saw how First National Bank was able to simply wipe-off debt of the now DA Councillor Simon Lapping from his credit card, overdraft facility and paid him in excess of R155,000 to pay-off his home loan. Just like that! It took an email from Lapping and visit to the bank the following afternoon to remove from the books an amount that had been written down as owing to the bank. With a few manipulations of the books, he didnt owe anything. And instead he was rewarded for closing his accounts.

The people of this country and indeed the world are suffering under the exploitative system of monopoly capitalism which in South African terms, is white. It’s a matter of social conscience and duty that we all stand together as citizens – black and white – against the banks.

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