VBS liquidator to start processing bigger claims from depositors

VBS depositors have not been able to access more than R100 000 of their money. Photo: City Press
VBS depositors have not been able to access more than R100 000 of their money. Photo: City Press
  • The South African Reserve Bank and VBS liquidator, Anoosh Rooplal, issued a joint update regarding the payment of creditors on Thursday.
  • The liquidator has now received all creditors’ claims, including claims those that exceeded the R100 000 threshold guaranteed by the Reserve Bank.
  • National Treasury guaranteed deposits of up to R100 000 per VBS Mutual Bank customer in July 2018, meaning that those who wanted to withdraw above the R100 000 guaranteed cap could not do so.

The VBS Mutual Bank liquidator says he will soon start processing claims of depositors who had more than R100 000 in the bank when it was placed under liquidation in 2018.

But before VBS was placed under liquidation, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) announced in July 2018 that individuals, burial societies and stokvels who had deposited up to 100 000 with VBS will be able to get their money at Nedbank branches. This left customers who had deposited more than the R100 000 cap out in the cold as they did not qualify to have their funds transferred to Nedbank. The SARB only offered a maximum guaranteed amount of R100 000 per retail depositor.

On Thursday, the SARB said VBS liquidator, Anoosh Rooplal, has recently received all creditors’ claims, including claims from individual retail depositors, stokvels and burial societies that exceeded the R100 000 guarantee threshold. Rooplal also received claims from corporate entities, municipalities and suppliers.

The SARB said the liquidator's team is now in the process of verifying the validity of those claims. This still does not guarantee that they will be accepted or paid in full.

"In accordance with the Insolvency Act 24 of 1936, the liquidator’s team…will expunge or remove those claims that are deemed not to be legitimate. The team will also reduce certain claims, should a claim submitted by a claimant not be in agreement with the records of the bank," read the joint update by the SARB and the liquidator on Thursday.

The statement said the liquidator received claims from 171 individual retail depositors individually held deposits of more than R100 000 with VBS. Their cumulative claims amounted to approximately R41.5 million. Claims from burial societies, stokvel and other claims amounted to approximately R20.5 million.

Some depositors have not claimed their money

Even though retail depositors with up to R100 000 in their VBS transactional and savings accounts were from 13 July 2018 able to claim their funds through Nedbank branches, the SARB and the liquidator said some have not come forward.

In total, 17 894 retail depositors qualified for repayment through Nedbank branches but as at 30 September 2020, only 12 220 retail depositors had activated their accounts with Nedbank. The remaining 5 530 retail depositors who had not yet activated their accounts have until 8 July 2021 to do so through any Nedbank branch. SARB said efforts have been made to reach out to all affected depositors to create awareness.

The liquidator also said that debt collections from people and organisations who had borrowed money from VBS are also progressing, even though the processes was stalled by Covid-19.

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