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The fair treatment of customers is a cornerstone of ethical business practices, especially in the SME financing sector. At the South African SME Finance Association (SASFA), we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of fairness and transparency throughout the entire financing process—from application and disbursement to collection. Our Code of Conduct reflects this commitment, ensuring that all members adhere to principles that prioritise customer rights and interests.

Application Stage: Transparent and Fair Practices

During the application process, it is crucial that SMEs are provided with clear, concise, and comprehensive information about financing options. SASFA members are required to ensure that all terms and conditions are fully disclosed, enabling business owners to make informed decisions. This transparency helps prevent misunderstandings and promotes trust between lenders and borrowers.

Disbursement: Timely and Responsible

Once a financing application is approved, the disbursement of funds should be timely and efficient. SASFA’s Code of Conduct mandates that members disburse funds as agreed, without unnecessary delays. This ensures that SMEs can access the capital they need to grow and operate effectively. Additionally, responsible disbursement practices mean that funds are provided in a manner that aligns with the agreed-upon terms, protecting both parties involved.

Collection: Ethical and Respectful

The collection of repayments is another critical area where fair treatment must be maintained. SASFA members are committed to ethical collection practices that respect the dignity and rights of borrowers. This includes providing clear communication about repayment schedules, offering support to those facing financial difficulties, and avoiding aggressive or unfair collection tactics.

Upholding High Standards

By adhering to our stringent Code of Conduct, SASFA ensures that all interactions between lenders and SME clients are conducted with integrity and fairness. This not only protects the interests of business owners but also enhances the reputation of the SME financing sector as a whole.

For more information about our Code of Conduct and our commitment to fair treatment, visit SASFA’s Code of Conduct.

Fair treatment in SME financing is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s a practice that builds lasting relationships and fosters a healthy business environment. At SASFA, we are proud to lead by example, promoting ethical practices that benefit everyone in the SME ecosystem.