VBS lobby tries to end Reserve Bank's solution

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Treasury says millions have disappeared from the bank.
VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Treasury says millions have disappeared from the bank.

A Limpopo lobby group with interests in the embattled VBS Mutual Bank wants to stop Nedbank from paying depositors their money.

The Save VBS Task Team met on Monday in Thohoyandou to demand that the bank stop facilitating VBS's clients' accounts.

Nedbank was appointed by the Reserve Bank to facilitate payments for VBS clients after the Limpopo-based bank was placed under curatorship in July.

Save VBS Task Team chairperson Ntsieni Mbulungeni said Nedbank should return the money back to the SA Reserve Bank (SARB), saying Nedbank had failed to help VBS clients.

The task team consists of Collins Chabane Chamber of Commerce, Thulamela Business Forum, South African National Civic Organisation, VBS Shareholders' Forum and ordinary depositors. "We demand that the money be returned to the SARB within seven days to make way for an alternative workable solution which will not add to the frustration of the people and being costly on travelling," Mbulungeni said.

However, Nedbank spokesperson Kedibone Molopyane, said servicing VBS clients was a smooth operation.

"The SARB, together with the curator, chose Nedbank based on proximity or branches to the depositors, fee structure, speed of execution, and its ability to handle the complexity of such a transaction," Molopyane said.

"The SARB also looked for a payout institution that provides similar types of products as VBS offered its clients.

"Nedbank has to date facilitated payments to about 40% of former VBS clients and the service will be available for the next three years. They can choose to retain their account with Nedbank or withdraw all or part of the funds at any ATM or Nedbank branch throughout South Africa."

In a letter seen by Sowetan, Nedbank executive Dave Schwegmann told the group to raise their concerns with the SARB.

VBS curator Anoosh Rooplal said: "I learnt about them [the group] in the media. We're happy a huge portion of depositors have received their money. "

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