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ANC MPs on Parly Finance committee to lobby for VBS Bank to be saved

The Sarb says that legally it has no option but to act against the bank which is now R372 million in debt, following widespread looting by its executives and shareholders.

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN – African National Congress (ANC) MPs on Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance say they will lobby hard for VBS Mutual Bank to be saved.

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) says legally it has no option but to act against the bank which is now R372 million in debt, following widespread looting by its executives and shareholders.

An application for the bank to be liquidated will be heard on Tuesday.

But the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say closing down the country’s only black-owned bank flies in the face of efforts to transform and diversify the banking sector.

Deputy Reserve Bank governor Kuben Naidoo says the central bank is not anti-transformation.

“We don’t care whether you’re black or white. If you loot a bank, we will go after you.”

If VBS is taken over, Naidoo says it could take 12 years for it to break even. He recommends a new bank should be started on a clean slate instead.

Chairperson of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance Yunus Carrim says that ANC MPs will exert political pressure for this to happen.

“Our main concern is is with the depositors, with transformation and diversification, and we are not going to give up the view that there should be an appropriate bank there and everywhere.”

The committee will meet next week to discuss whether it should hold public hearings on the bank’s collapse and whether to recommend that an independent inquiry be established.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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