VBS clients can now get some cash back at Nedbank

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VBS Mutual Bank has completed the transfer of guaranteed retail deposits to Nedbank, it was announced on Thursday. 

This will allow clients of the liquidated bank who had deposited up to R100 000 to withdraw their money.

Depositors have been given until 8 July 2021 to withdraw their funds from Nedbank branches, according to the liquidator.

The SA Reserve Bank placed VBS Mutual Bank under curatorship in March 2017 after it was hit by a liquidity crisis which was later blamed on corruption by its top executives. In November 2018, North Gauteng High Court ordered that the bank be liquidated.

"Without the intervention of the South African Reserve Bank, these depositors would still be out of pocket for their funds," the bank's liquidator Anoosh Rooplal said.

Of the original 18 300 deposit accounts, 17 750 have been transferred to Nedbank at a value of R260 million, and 98% of the R260 million has been activated and collected by depositors in terms of value, said Rooplal.

The bank's retail depositors included individuals, burial societies, stokvels and saving clubs and the Reserve Bank only offered a maximum guaranteed amount of R100 000 per retail depositor.

"The final tranche of qualifying accounts was recently transferred to Nedbank and constituted some 370 accounts amounting to approximately R3.7 million in value," said a joint statement issued by the Reserve Bank, the liquidator and Nedbank.

The extent of the looting of VBS funds was revealed in a 2018 report by advocate Terry Motau titled The Great Bank Heist, which detailed the siphoning of up to R2 billion from the banks coffers by its senior officials.

Last week, a magistrate transferred the case of a group of 18 people, who include ANC politicians from Limpopo, who have been fingered in the VBS theft scandal to the High Court. They are facing theft, fraud and corruption and will be back in court in August.

The liquidator said a decision was taken by the Reserve Bank Prudential Authority and Nedbank to close some 3 773 accounts with balances of R100 or less. These accounts amounted to approximately R105 000 and were closed from a cost and administrative perspective.

Claims can be made from Nedbank until 8 July 2021.

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