VBS liquidator accepts claims from SARB, PIC and a few municipalities

The liquidator of VBS Mutual Bank said on Sunday that municipalities, the South African Reserve Bank and the Public Investment Corporation were among institutions that successfully made claims against the ill-fated bank on Friday.

Hoping to get their money back, the liquidators met with municipalities, institutions and individual retail creditors in Polokwane under the auspices of the Master of the Limpopo High Court. This comes after the bank went under curatorship last year, following a liquidity crisis.

Of the 16 affected municipalities, two were able to withdraw their funds prior to Friday's meeting, namely Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality in North West and JS Moroka Local Municipality in Mpumalanga.

The wait continues for the remaining 14, although Auditor Genera Kimi Makwetu wrote in his consolidated report of local government audit outcomes that these municipalities are unlikely to get the amounts they deposited back.

VBS liquidator Anoosh Rooplal said he was pleased to see the bulk of creditors present their claims before the presiding officer, as the majority of the municipality depositors who submitted claims and attended the meeting had their claims accepted.

"A total of 610 retail depositors, which included individuals, stokvels, legal firms and church groups, and who had more than R100 000 invested at VBS, also had their claims accepted, as did 17 VBS employees," said Rooplal.

Rooplal said the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) claims were also accepted, amongst other corporate depositors. He said the liquidation and distribution account will be distributed to the Master of the High Court, but that this would take some time due to the sale of assets that must take place first.

"I went beyond my ordinary obligations to inform creditors of Friday's meeting and made arrangements to assist retail creditors and employees with their claim forms. I am very pleased with the outcome of Friday’s meeting," Rooplal said.

As liquidator, Rooplal is now compelled to check all the accepted claims against the records of the bank and adjust or expunge claims found to have discrepancies or to be invalid.

He said it was "possible" that criminal actions may be instituted against the bank's former executives and other wrongdoers by law enforcement.

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