First National Bank set to evaluate relationship with EOH
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FIRST National Bank (FNB) said yesterday that it had been made aware of a criminal complaint relating to a banking relationship with a client, EOH Holdings, after Transform RSA laid criminal charges of corruption and money laundering against the bank.
FNB has been accused by Transform RSA of continuing to provide banking facilities to EOH Holdings despite the company admitting to corrupt activities in its organisation.
However, FNB said it would evaluate the complaint after receiving more information and, where required, respond through the relevant channels.
“As a reputable financial services provider, FNB endeavours to ensure that its bank accounts are utilised and managed in compliance with the relevant laws,” the bank said.
Transform RSA president Adil Nchabeleng maintained that FNB and other South African banks were biased in the way they treated companies.
“FNB, in particular, is very biased. They have decided to close the accounts of companies owned by black businesses without (them) being found guilty of breaking the law, but they are leaving those companies that have admitted to wrongdoing.
“EOH has admitted to corruption that has taken place in the organisation, but they are allowed to operate and the banks are not threatening or closing their accounts.
“They continue to access facilities and loans and continue to conduct business as if nothing has happened. Where is justice in that?” Nchabeleng said.
He confirmed that they laid corruption and money laundering charges last week at the Johannesburg Central police station and said criminal investigations were under way.
However, EOH hit back at Transform RSA for instructing South African banks to close its accounts for its role in the procurement of overpriced contracts for the Department of Defence.
EOH said it had been completely transparent with all the banks and has further co-operated with the authorities, including the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, while also laying criminal charges against the perpetrators of wrongdoing who are no longer employed by the group.
EOH chief executive Stephen van Coller said as a group they remain committed to good corporate citizenship and governance while maintaining a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption.
“It is in line with this commitment that EOH provided input to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry regarding identified irregularities.
“It is also in line with this commitment that EOH reported concerns to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations and the Financial Intelligence Centre, prior to the group being approached by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), and further initiated action in order to recover losses caused by perpetrators of wrongdoing,” Van Coller said.
As far as the Department of Defence contract was concerned, the group said it had entered into an acknowledgement of debt (AoD) with the SIU at the end of September last year and has since made multiple payments in terms of the AoD, beginning in October 2020.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE