Gupta-linked Bank of Baroda pulling out of SA

Cape Town - Gupta-linked bank  the Bank of Baroda has notified the Office of the Registrar of Banks of its exit from South Africa.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in a statement on Monday its registrar is in discussions with the Bank of Baroda to ensure its orderly withdrawal from South Africa so that no depositor is disadvantaged.

"At this stage, the SARB has no further comments on the matter."

A SARB fine of R11m in June last year suggested Baroda's involvement in the “State Capture” scandal: an avalanche of allegations that President Jacob Zuma was under the sway of three brothers from Uttar Pradesh - Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh Gupta, collectively known as “The Guptas”.

As the scandal continues to unfold, Baroda's role as the Gupta family’s banker of choice for their most controversial deals, has attracted increasing attention from South African regulators, investigators and the press.

The bank was fined for not doing enough to combat financial crime.

Bloomberg reported in October last year that the SARB  was investigating Baroda over money held for companies controlled by the politically connected Gupta family.

Bank of Baroda, the only lender in South Africa that still offered services to companies linked to the Guptas, was seeking a court order that will allow it to close the accounts.

More to follow

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