NHT to funnel refunds through banks only
The National Housing Trust (NHT) said last Friday that its new thrust to remit
contribution refunds through commercial banks only is intended both to cut costs and reduce security risk.
In mid-March, the Trust advised contributors that they would need a commercial bank account if they wished to have refunds remitted to an account, effective April 1.
Before this date, NHT had two payment methods: directly to accounts held in local
commercial banks and via remittance agencies.
The change, the Trust said,
followed an operational review, after which it decided not to continue the arrangement with remittance agencies, whose
contracts expired on March 31.
It added: "The measure is part of an overall approach to streamline the disbursement of funds by the NHT, to make the process more cost efficient."
The housing trust did not
indicate the relative cost of remitting refunds through the banks compared to the remittance agencies.
It said that the switch to commercial banks will address potential security issues.
"The new measure will also allow us to reduce security
concerns. While these have not materialised, the change is
necessary to remove the risk. The process is not unique to contribution refund, but also includes disbursement of loans and payments to suppliers of services as well," NHT said.
The housing agency said that $4.5 billion, arising from amounts contributed in 2007, are due to be paid out in refunds this year.