AYO CEO, Howard Plaatjes
AYO CEO, Howard Plaatjes

Court finds no urgency in AYO Technology application against FNB

By Edward West Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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AYO Technology Solutions’ application in the Johannesburg High Court to contest FNB’s recent notice to suspend the firm’s banking facilities would not be heard on an urgent basis, the court ruled yesterday.

FNB had on March 2 said it intended to stop providing banking services to AYO from May 3, because of alleged reputational damage to the bank.

FNB had claimed that an investment transaction between AYO and the Public Investment Corporation, negative media coverage, AYO’s evidence at the Mpati Commission and a R6.5m fine that the JSE imposed on AYO, where it retains its listing, were factors driving the alleged reputational damage to the bank.

AYO’s legal representative advocate Nazeer Cassiem told the court yesterday that the approximate 1 200 staff at AYO would not be able to receive their salaries from May 3 if banking facilities were withdrawn, and the company would not be able to operate if it could not access other banking facilities within a reasonable period of time.

Cassiem said there was no prospect of AYO finding alternative banking facilities before May 3, and the company had already approached up to 20 out of the 70 banks in the country to obtain alternative banking facilities, and was not able to approach all the banks because AYO required the services of a leading bank because of its size, and because not all banks provided the commercial transaction facilities that were required.

Judge Gregory Wright said in his judgement that there was no evidence to show that AYO had attempted to obtain alternative banking facilities from the banks in the period from March 24, when AYO had known that FNB was resolute in carrying out its plan to stop AYO’s FNB banking facilities.

Judge Wright said also that AYO appeared to have taken its time in launching the court application, because AYO had known on March 24 that FNB was resolute, but the urgent interdict application had only been launched on April 15.

He said AYO also did not respond fully in court to FNB’s allegations regarding the Mpati Commission and a R6.5 million fine that the JSE had imposed on AYO.


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