Union says it's happy with Capitec after Viceroy report

Cape Town - Trade union the Public Servants Association says it is satisfied that “operations are under control” at Capitec after it met with the bank to discuss a recent report questioning its lending practices. 

The union described its meeting with senior Capitec [JSE:CPI] management as a “fact-finding mission”, saying that thousands of its members use the bank. 

In a statement on Friday the union said it was committed to helping to ‘root out ill-governance and maladministration” in the public and private sectors. 

“The PSA is aware about the effects [the] collapse of corporate governance and corruption in state-owned entities and the private sector has on South African workers,” it said. 

The union has also taken a tough stance against embattled retailer Steinhoff, calling for the arrest of executives implicated in wrongdoing, and saying it wants to join a class-action lawsuit against the group. 

It has also criticised the decision by the Public Investment Corporation, the state’s pension fund asset manager, to grant Eskom a R5bn loan, saying it was putting the assets of workers at risk. 

‘Put these issues to rest’ 

Viceroy, a US-based short seller in late January published a 33-page report into SA bank Capitec, claiming the bank was a “loan shark” approving loans to delinquent customers in order for them to repay their existing loans.

Capitec denied the accusations at the time, saying the report was filled with factual errors and unsupported opinions. 

The SARB, in turn, released a statement to say that Capitec is solvent, well capitalised and has adequate liquidity.

Viceroy on Wednesday released a follow-up report, in which it restated its criticisms. In reaction, Capitec denied the allegations and invited the short sellers to pay it a visit. 

The PSA said it was happy with initial feedback from Capitec, and would await a more in-depth report in March. 

“We have also noted that Viceroy issued this report without engaging Capitec, which in itself is worrisome and questions the real intention of the whole report,” it said.

“The PSA is comfortable with the preliminary report received from Capitec and has trust in the SARB.

"The PSA further request all banking regulatory bodies to also make their own investigations so that this matter can be put to rest. The South African economic growth cannot afford these kinds of uncertainties."

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