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Court to order Bank of Baroda to keep operating in SA?

The Bank of Baroda told the High Court that it cannot be forced to continue to operate in the country for the sole benefit of a handful of companies.

FILE: Bank of Baroda logo. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - The High Court in Pretoria will have to consider whether a court can force a foreign company to continue to operating in South Africa against its will.

This was the judge’s closing remark on Thursday in the application brought by several Gupta-owned companies to compel the Bank of Baroda to keep its accounts open.

The bank announced last month that it was ceasing all operations in South Africa.

The Bank of Baroda told the High Court that it cannot be forced to continue to operate in the country for the sole benefit of a handful of companies.

The bank says that it has already cut ties with all its other local clients.

The Gupta-owned companies have argued that closing its accounts would be in breach of a High Court order handed down last year.

The court had ordered the bank to continue doing business with the Guptas until another application, set down for later this year, was finalised.

But the bank says that the ruling must be viewed in the context of a business which continues to operate, not one shutting down its operations.