VBS curatorship raises eye-brows

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene placed VBS Mutual Bank under curatorship effective from 5pm yesterday.

Black First Land First and Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF), known to be staunch Zuma supporters, said it was unacceptable for the National Treasury to place VBS under curatorship.

BLF ’s Tshidiso Tshimong said a handful of the organisation’s supporters picketed outside the Reserve Bank head office because they believe the institution is racist as it favours established banks over black emerging banks.

PPF said: “While the ANC resolved on transforming the financial sector including issuing of full commercial banking licences to black-owned banks, it cannot be that an ANC-led government is seen to be doing the contrary and actively suffocating the only existing black-owned bank through anti-transformation laws…”

Making the announcement yesterday, Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago said VBS was put under curatorship after it faced a severe cash flow crisis.

“The liquidity challenges emanated from the maturity of a large concentration of deposits from municipalities, and was exacerbated by the termination of other sizeable deposits and the inability to source sufficient funding timeously,” he said.

Kganyago said VBS submitted only last week an application to operate as a commercial bank and the approval process takes between 12 to 18 months. He said criticism that the Reserve Bank was tackling VBS because it had granted Zuma a R7.8-million loan to pay his Nkandla debt was unfounded.

On Friday, VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi fired a broadside at the SARB and Treasury, accusing them of creating an impression that a “black bank was not welcome” and that “black management is incompetent and noncompliant”.



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