Party Accuses Namibian Banks Of Gouging Customers With
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 2, 2005
WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA--Banks in Namibia are discriminating against people with low incomes and with disabilities, the National Assembly heard this week.
According to the New Era news service, lawmakers on Tuesday were considering a motion asking that the banking and financial services industries be investigated, following testimony from Alexia Ncube, a woman with disabilities and member of the South West African People's Organization, otherwise known as the Swapo Party.
"I have personally been a victim of the exorbitant bank charges and punitive regulations and control measures of some banking and loan entities," Ncube said. "Some financial institutions have a very profound destructive impact on marginalized and vulnerable members of our society."
Ncube said banks are charging people with disabilities up to 20 percent of their government benefits in the form of service charges and levies when they go to withdraw those benefits. She also accused the banking industry of prejudice against people with disabilities when it comes to loans, because they consider such applicants as higher risks.
"The banking institutions don't cover people with disabilities in an event where they might be incapacitated as a result of additional disabilities," she added. "This practice is not only highly discriminatory, but also infringes on the rights and dignity of people with disabilities as human beings and fellow citizens."
In addition to an investigation into discriminatory banking practices, the Swapo Party is calling for an information campaign to help users better understand banking and financial institutions.
"Banks Give Raw Deal to the Disabled" (New Era via AllAfrica.com)