Nedbank says mines minister urged them to keep Guptas as clients

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Mike Brown, CEO of Nedbank, and Zhikun Qiu, CEO of the Johannesburg branch of the Bank of China, sign the agreement.
Mike Brown, CEO of Nedbank, and Zhikun Qiu, CEO of the Johannesburg branch of the Bank of China, sign the agreement.

Johannesburg - Nedbank said Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane urged the lender to reconsider its decision to sever ties with companies tied to the Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and in business with his son.

Nedbank in a letter to Oakbay Investments dated April 7 said a continued relationship with the Gupta-controlled company would “create material business risks that could pose significant reputational risks,” according to an affidavit filed in the Pretoria High Court by CEO Mike Brown on Monday. It gave the company 30 days to find alternative bankers.

After the country’s four biggest banks closed their accounts earlier this year, the Guptas asked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to intervene. Gordhan went to court in October seeking an order stating that he can’t prevent banks from cutting clients.

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