WesBank has released a statement saying online rumours it planned to repossess 45 000 vehicles across South Africa were “false and unfounded”.

The vehicle finance company said the rumour that emerged on Twitter on Monday was untrue.

“Repossessions are always the very last resort for WesBank. The bank would rather consult with its customers to make new arrangements for payment, than repossess a vehicle,” Lebogang Gaoaketse, WesBank’s head of marketing and communication, said.

“During these challenging times it remains a priority of ours to assist our customers where possible. As such, a payment relief option has been made available to those negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gaoaketse added.

"To date, we have received over 100 000 applications and have offered relief to over 53 percent of customers [who] have applied and have qualified for assistance. These numbers are a clear indication of where our focus is at the moment, so such allegations are irresponsible at a time where customers are vulnerable and need solutions," Gaoaketse said.

He added the company’s aim was to “ensure that customers across all our product segments can continue to keep their financial affairs in order”.

“Nevertheless, we encourage all our clients who can honour their financial obligations to continue servicing their repayments to maintain a positive credit history,” Gaoaketse said.