JOHANNESBURG - The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Monday announced that Bank of Baroda had notified the Office of the Registrar of Banks of its exit from South Africa.
The Registrar, which is part of SARB, is in discussions with the Bank of Baroda (BoB) to ensure its orderly withdrawal from South Africa. The banks says this is to ensure that no depositor is disadvantaged.
An inoffencive footnote to the BoB's quarterly results made mention of a fine levied by SARB, back in June 2017.
A sum of R11 million was insignificant for an institution the size of BoB. No further details were given; the penalty passed unnoticed in India.
SARB’s actions pointed to BoB’s involvement in State Capture, in the wake of allegations that President Jacob Zuma was under the influence of, Uttar Pradesh, Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh Gupta, collectively known as “The Guptas”.
BoB’s has attracted speculation from South African regulators, political leaders and the media for it's role as Gupta family’s banker of choice.
In a statement on it's website, BoB said, "In this regard we would like to clarify that the South African operations of Bank of Baroda (Bank) have always been conducted in accordance with the laws and regulations of the South African Reserve Bank and the Reserve Bank of India.
We reiterate that the Bank has at all times acted in good faith and all activities of the Bank have been conducted in a professional and transparent manner.
The client relationship which is subject matter of the media reports is sub-judice and the Bank is also bound by client confidentiality. It is also the policy of the Bank to not comment on speculative reports. The Bank, having due regard for all lawful requirements, remains committed to cooperate with the regulators for all enquiries in this connection".
BoB shares increased by over 7% ( 7.83 % ) after multiple brokerages remained optimistic on the counter even after BoB registered a dip of 56% in its net profit at Rs 112 crore for the third quarter to December.
The South African Reserve Bank has said that it currently has no further comments on the matter.
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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE