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FNB to break ties with the Guptas

The bank joins other corporations that have decided to cut ties with the Gupta family.

FILE. Last week, Absa and auditing firm KPMG cut ties with the Gupta family. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The director of Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments has confirmed that the company has received notice from FNB that the bank plans on closing all of its accounts.

#TNABizBrief Howa reveals Oakbay Investments received letters from FNB on Friday indicating that the bank will close all their accounts. GW

Last week, Absa and auditing firm KPMG cut ties with the Gupta family following allegations that brothers Atul and Ajay hold undue influence over President Jacob Zuma and several high profile business people.

The Guptas have denied the allegations and have challenged their detractors to provide evidence of the so-called influence.

Oakbay director Nazeem Howa has also suggested that a conspiracy against the family is driving the banks to act.

"On Friday we got letters from FNB to close our bank accounts, that's the second bank. Now yesterday I had a very interesting question, 'Do you believe there's a third party behind the move by the banks to close your bank accounts and by your auditors to walk away from you?' I think we are at a particular state in our business, we are dealing with issues we should have dealt with in 1994."

Investment bank Sasfin said it had decided to cut links with Gupta mining firm Oakbay Resources and Energy in March, two days after a newspaper suggested they may have had a hand in Zuma's sacking of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December.

Sasfin's relationship with Oakbay will formally end on 1 June, a Sasfin spokeswoman said. The decision had not previously been made public.

The Guptas have routinely dismissed reports of their influence, saying they are pawns in a political plot to get Zuma out of office.

Additional reporting by Reuters.