INTEREST RATES ADVISORY CENTRE
Interest Rates Advisory Centre Limited (IRAC) is a unique financial consultancy in Kenya. It was set up as a limited liability company in July 2001 and began offering services to the public in September 2001.
Since its establishment, IRAC audits banking facility contracts and reconciles them with bank accounts. IRAC then recalculates the interest that the financial institution has charged the client.
The consultancy is a multidisciplinary team incorporating Bankers, Advocates of the High Court of Kenya, Mathematicians, IT consultants and software developers. Today, we are the acknowledged repository of unique expertise in verification of bank liability in loans, overdrafts, mortgages and hire-purchase agreements. Our practice covers all licensed banks and financial institutions under The Banking Act and The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Act numbering more than 53 institutions.
Arbitrators and practicing lawyer’s assist in dispute resolution and in litigation by increasingly consulting IRAC.
In the several hundred cases IRAC has handled so far, the interest charged by BANKS on Loans, Overdrafts and Mortgages is wrongly calculated in more than 90%. In the recent we have provided an Independent, Objective and Confidential interest recalculation of outstanding balances and we have come across many cases of overcharging amounting to millions.
IRAC is the home of independent, objective and confidential;
- Finance Cost Assurance Services (Overdraft and Loan Interest Confirmation) for Corporates.
- Interest Recalculation for all interest-earning accounts of Mortgages, Hire Purchases, Personal Loans and Business Loans and Overdrafts.
- In-Duplum Check and Monitoring Services.
- Litigation support.
Banks make mistakes. Everyone does. This is why bank statements invite you, at the bottom or back of your bank statement, to point out any errors that you may have spotted.
Not everybody has the capacity to query a bank statement or to spot even obvious errors. This is because it is a difficult, labour-intensive and time consuming exercise.
Take up the challenge posed by your bankers, and query your bank statement by Contacting IRAC
In the thousands of cases IRAC has handled so far, the interest charged by banks on Loans, Mortgages and Overdrafts is wrongly calculated in more than 90% of the cases analyzed.
These interest overcharges have many causes. They range from innocent mistakes to systemic inefficiency. IRAC has even documented fraudulent conduct by some lenders.
Ignorance is bliss, but it costs you dearly.
Interest overcharge refund claims amount to thousands and even millions of shillings depending on turnover and the bank involved.
While some banks are worse than others, they all regularly make mistakes. When these mistakes are made, they have to be paid for by someone. The person who pays for mistakes is the one who is ignorant or who lacks the capacity to verify interest calculations.
That person is you or your company.
Auditors and accountants may not pick out interest calculation errors in the normal course of their work. This is how and why you pay for 90% of all mistakes.
IRAC has developed a process that scrutinizes both your bank account and your contractual documentation. The IRAC Process verifies the accuracy of your lender’s interest calculations from the first activity on the first day in your Overdraft, Loan or Mortgage account. This is a complex and time-consuming process.
However, the benefits are invaluable when mistakes discovered run into thousands and millions of shillings. IRAC provides an easy, inexpensive way for you or your company to find out if your loan, overdraft or mortgage facility is being run accurately and in terms of your contract with the bank.
At the end of the IRAC Process our Credit Verifier! software will generate a report that IRAC stands by.
IRAC’s business model is premised on one fact; that banks, like any other business concern, make mistakes in their handling of Loans, Overdrafts, Mortgages and other accounts. Banks, as a matter of fact, do have a window period whereby they invite the borrower to confirm the accuracy of the transactions as reported on the bank statements of account.
We use our robust tool, the IRAC Credit Verifier! to pick out the questionable charges and to analyse the statements according to the terms of your Banking Facility Contracts and according to the various Laws that govern banking. In Kenya, these laws are The Central Bank of Kenya Act, The Banking Act, The Consumer Protection Act and The Land Act.
At the end of the exercise, IRAC produces a report that clearly shows whether your lender has overcharged or undercharged your account.
Our reports are admissible in court thereby making them effective in providing Litigation Support to advocates. These reports are tailored to suit the specific jurisdictions within the East African region.
IRAC also provides advice on banking issues, where to bank, negotiation of terms of banking, what to look out for and verification of finance costs (interest charged and other finance costs).
Interest Recalculation, Finance Cost Assurance and reconstruction of financial facilities is a complicated process. Everything turns on the interpretation and meaning of contractual documents and the applicable law governing these contracts. If and when a dispute between a Client and a bank goes to litigation, the basis of the Interest Recalculation becomes critical.
Despite their invitation to query, banks may for whatever internal reasons, fail to give refunds when challenged. Hence the need to seek legal redress. It is basic law that all contracts are made subject to the law and, if necessary, are deemed to be modified to the extent necessary to comply with the legislation. In other words, loans are bargains made in accordance with the law. Unless the law allows it, parties cannot contract out of legislation.
The following are good and enforceable lending laws;
- The new section 44 A of The Banking (Amendment) Act 2006 applies retroactively.
- The Central Bank of Kenya Act prescribed Legal Maximum Rates of interest for the periods:
- July 1991 to April 1997 and
- 1st January 2001 & 31st July 2005 (55 months)
- The Land Act of Kenya (2012)
Virtually ALL Bank Charges, Fees and Commissions charged to your account between 1st November 1989 to date are illegal on account of Section 44 of The Banking Act.
During the litigation (court) proceedings, IRAC will liaise closely with the Advocates and offer Expert Witnessing in court when required.
IRAC’s reports have stood the test of the law as they have been accepted as expert evidence by the commercial division of the High Court of Kenya. Cases have been won based on this evidence. IRAC has documented a list of real successful cases it has handled.
Some parties also opt to settle out of court on the basis of IRAC’s findings. IRAC’s reports highlight the points/periods of overcharged. This makes it easy to negotiate as the problem areas are narrowed down to specific points.
IRAC does not issue Credit Verifier! Reports and then leave you alone to help yourself as best as you can. Rather, IRAC stands by you every step of the way to a refund.
Needless to say, the premises of The IRAC Process are based on a plain reading of the law by experienced Advocates of the High Court of Kenya and Commercial Lawyers. Much as The IRAC Process is geared towards amicable settlement, IRAC ensures that our Client’s case is legally watertight.
If our client is litigating, or is thinking about instituting legal proceedings against the bank/financial institution, IRAC’s consultants provide a technical review service of the legal Pleadings to ensure their technical accuracy. Whenever necessary, we will appear as an Expert Witness on your behalf in Court.
The software behind FCAS has been developed in Kenya over a period of 7 years. It is specific to Kenya’s banking environment. It caters for and can deal with every and any possible operational permutation practiced by any bank in Kenya. It has been developed by lawyers, mathematicians, accountants and auditors. It is, simply stated, the most robust bank interest verification and recalculation software available to any concern operating in Kenya, in East and Central Africa and in all English Common Law jurisdictions based on the English mercantile traditions.
The entire FCAS process actively involves the expertise of IRAC’s lawyers, mathematicians, accountants and auditors. Subsequently, the service will be offered at IRAC’s offices.
IRAC understands the highly sensitive nature of the work involved. Strict confidentiality during the entire period of engagement is therefore maintained. On initial engagement with the client, a confidentiality agreement is signed. (The Mutual Non-disclosure Agreement)
For security during data transmission between the client and IRAC, soft copies of the contractual documents and account statements are transmitted through Compact Disks or Flash Disks. Agreed on passwords will be employed to ensure only authorized persons get access to the information therein.
Transmission of hard copies of the said documents will only be between the authorized persons.
Data Analysis/Interest Verification
With all entries into the account verified, IRAC then re-computes the interest on the Overdraft and Loan Accounts to ensure it is mathematically accurate and legal in conformity with your Banking Facility Letter/s and with The Banking Act and The Central Bank of Kenya Act.
First, IRAC recommends that a Historical Verification of your credit facilities is carried out in order to certify that the account activity from inception to date, as reported by your bank, corresponds with the terms of the contract(s), other binding correspondences had and with the Laws of Kenya. This process ensures that you have the correct position on your current outstanding liabilities.
Once the Historical Verification is complete, a continuous process of re-check, the periodic Finance Costs Assurance Service ensures that bank’s errors are uncovered early, on a monthly basis.
Service Output – Report Generation
This is in hard and/or soft copy. The following is a listing of the various reports generated as a result of the Finance Costs Assurance process;
- Interest recalculation sheets in detailed or summary form of the period verified.
- Interest comparison sheets between the interest charged by the bank and the recalculated interest. This highlights points of overcharge/undercharge.
- Interest rates comparison sheets.
- Legal Reports like the In-Duplum
- Various output presentation formats like graphs and charts.
- Useful management reports.
IRAC recommends that the soft copies outputs be in Portable Disk Format (pdf). Further, agreed on passwords will be required to ensure only authorized persons get access to these reports.
Our Target Clientele
We serve both clients and all Licensed Banks and Specified Financial Institutions in Kenya that are governed by The Banking Act and The Central Bank of Kenya Act. This means any individual borrower or company with credit (borrowing) facilities with a bank or financial institution.
We also serve clients in Common Law Jurisdictions, applying English mercantile law traditions. Our processes and software are compatible with the major financial and banking systems in the world.
If you or your company has a Loan, an Overdraft, a Mortgage, a Hire Purchase Account or an interest bearing investment account, The IRAC Process will be of great benefit to you.
Benefits To You.
The key benefit is Peace of Mind – that your Finance Costs (interest charged) are accurately stated and that you are paying only what you should pay and not a cent more. Our other value-adding services include: –
- Detection of interest overcharges leading to claims for refunds.
- Protection from intimidation by banks based on the legal and regulatory framework.
- Enhanced knowledge of the way banks operate and better negotiating ability. After analysis, IRAC highlights the points of deviation from the contractual agreements. These insights form the basis of subsequent negotiations with the bank on banking facilities. IRAC always recommends friendly dialogue with the bank.
- Legal and Technical support and advice on your current and future facility requirements.
- Negotiations with the bank on rescheduled repayment facilities, if anything is outstanding.
- Sound banking management practices.
With all these value-adding services, you, or your company, are certain to have Peace of Mind.
What we require for The IRAC Process
What we require for the IRAC process is clear copies of:
- All bank account statements, from the first to the most recent one.
- All Banking Facility Letters or Hire Purchase agreements relating to your bank account or associated bank accounts.
- All correspondence from the bank and to the bank, e.g. notification of interest rate change or enhancement or reduction of limits.
- The Security document – Legal Charge, Mortgage Deed or Guarantee.
SO, WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
- You can continue to “think about it”. However, time is money. You continue losing thousands, even millions, of shillings. Don’t think about it any more than you already have.
- You can ask your bank to re-check their interest calculations which they might not do, because they do not have the time or inclination to do such hard work.
- Pick Up the phone and Contact IRAC or give us your details and we talk to you TODAY. Subscribe to IRAC Process where all the work is done for you by experts using the Credit Verifier! Software.