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Pravin Gordhan: I can’t help Guptas fix problem with major banks

Minister Gordhan has said if the Gupta’s have a problem with the bank’s decisions they can always go to court.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at the Sars briefing on 01 April 2016. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says he is unable to help the Gupta family fix their relationships with their banks, and that he does not understand why they have not tried to open accounts with other banks.

Gordhan says the Guptas' own Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nazeem Howa, has admitted a bank told him doing business with the Gupta companies would mean they could be breaking the law.

The Minister has now released a document as part of a reply to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance, in which he was asked if he had met the Gupta family to discuss the decision by the big four banks to withdraw their services from their companies.

In his reply Pravin Gordhan says that CEO of Oakbay Investments admitted that one of the banks told him they had concluded that continuing with their banking relationship would increase their risk of contravening a banking law to an unacceptable level.

In a separate document also says there are 35 banks that take deposits in this country, and that it's not clear whether Oakbay has exhausted all of its options, and asked to open accounts with the other banks.

Gordhan says that he asked Howa to provide him with the letters the banks sent to the Gupta family, so that he could see for himself whether proper reasons were given for their decision to withdraw banking services.

But he never received a reply.

The Finance Minister also says if the Gupta's have a problem with the bank's decisions they can always go to court.

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