Guptas take on FNB CEO Jacques Celliers

Cape Town - Oakbay Investments is demanding that First National Bank (FNB) boss Jacques Celliers explain why his bank dumped the company.

According to a statement in Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, Oakbay Investments chief executive Nazeem Howa called on Celliers to explained why FNB closed the company’s accounts.

Howa said Oakbay received no reason justifying FNB’s actions, adding that it is already in the process of moving accounts to a "more enlightened institution”.

He went on to question the timing of FNB's actions. This comes about three months after Barclays Africa Group’s Absa unit did the same.

“We find the timing of FNB’s decision staggering given Oakbay’s accounts are in excellent financial health and we have been a loyal and profitable customer for many years."

Howa also dismissed claims that the Guptas have a hand in the capturing of the state for business means, saying: "only 1% of our business is from government".

Last week, Fin24 exposed the first revelation of corporations cutting ties with Guptas when an internal staff letter by KPMG Southern Africa CEO Trevor Hoole was leaked.

KMPG announced that it will no longer audit Oakbay companies due to “political pressure.”

On Tuesday Oakbay stated that is in the process of finding a new auditor and sponsor after KPMG and Sasfin Capital resigned as the respective service providers.

At the time of Oakbay’s listing on the JSE in November 2014, Absa was Oakbay’s banker. However, an Absa spokesperson told Fin24 sister publication City Press last week: “Absa Bank can confirm that we have no relationship with Oakbay Resources.”

The flight of corporate service providers comes as the Guptas' alleged business connection with and influence of President Jacob Zuma has resulted in calls of Zuma's recall, as well as an investigation into the Guptas' business activities.

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