Malawi: CFTC Fines Banks, 20 Companies for Unfair Trading Practices

State-funded Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), a statutory institution to regulate and monitor acts that affect competition and fair-trading, has fined imposed a K500, 000 on each of the 20 companies found guilty of contravening fair trading practices in the country.

The 20 are among the 61 companies the Commission has been investigating of which 56 were confirmed to have violated the consumer rights through one malpractice or the other.

The Commission's Acting Executive Director, Apoche Itimu, told journalists on Monday during an update for their last quarter's investigations and determinations that the remaining companies contravened competition business practices.

"Following complaints from consumers, we conducted investigations, the Commission determined fines according to the financial gains of the company," she said.

The 1998 CFTC Act provides a K500,000 fine or a representation of a company's financial gain.

According to the statistics, she said, the majority of the companies fined were those who practiced unfair trading by either overcharging, misleading labels and underweight like in bags of farm inputs among others.

Itimu added that the Commission also charged fines to banks like First Capital Bank and Ned Bank after receiving complaints from customers whose accounts were tampered and their funds disappeared.

These banks, she said, were charged K500, 000 as a fine and another K500, 000 to the account's owner with a full refund of his money.

However, the Board of Commissioners will meet again in August to determine what the Commission investigated in the last quarter of May to August.

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