VAAL TRIANGLE - It is now illegal for any bank to transfer their clients’ money without their permission to repay debts on other accounts they hold with the same bank. The High Court in Johannesburg made the ruling this week after the National Credit Regulator (NCR) brought a case against Standard Bank wanting clarification that the common law practice didn't apply to credit agreements. This means that bank may not move money from a client’s cheque or savings accounts to their credit card, bond or vehicle loan without the client’s permission. This puts an end to the practice where banks transferred money from positive balances to accounts which have fallen behind. The National Credit Regulator (NCR) brought a case against Standard Bank to confirm that the so-called “set-off” rule does not apply to credit agreements. The set-off rule in common law is applied when two persons owe each other and the debts are settled by setting the debts off against each other.