The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has withdrawn its referral of Foschini Retail Group – a subsidiary of listed clothing retailer TFG – to the National Consumer Tribunal for an alleged breach of the National Credit Act.

Business Day reports the move could bring to an end the stand-off between the company and the consumer watchdog which dates back to July 2017. Foschini Retail Group sells Club magazine subscriptions to consumers, which the regulator said amounted to ‘charging’ a ‘fee’ that is not permitted by the Act.

The regulator said the Club fee was reflected in consumers’ credit agreements.

‘The NCA allows consumers to be given a quotation that sets out the cost of credit before signing credit agreements. Consumers should request this quotation from their credit providers so they can properly check the cost of credit being offered,’

The NCR’s Jacqueline Peters said when the body referred the matter to the tribunal.

But in a new twist, the regulator appears to have made an about-turn this week.

Foschini Retail Group received notification from the NCR on 29 May confirming that the NCR had withdrawn its referral to the tribunal regarding the Club matter.

Full Business Day report