File photo: Thirty safety deposit boxes were stolen at an FNB branch in Parktown Johannesburg on January 1.
Johannesburg – First National Bank (FNB) confirmed on Thursday that it was in the process of reimbursing customers impacted by loss of valuables at its branches.

This comes after the bank experienced break-ins and robberies at its Randburg, Parktown and Sunnypark branches in Gauteng, resulting in thousands of safety deposit boxes containing millions of rand worth of valuables being stolen.

The bank said it would reimburse customers for reasonable costs incurred for replacement of marriage certificates, identity documents, birth certificates and passports.

In a statement, FNB chief executive Jacques Celliers said the bank deeply regretted the impact of these criminal incidents.

Celliers said FNB would continue to assist by reimbursing impacted customers for insurance excess payments where customers submitted successful claims to their insurance companies.

"In addition, FNB will, despite not being legally obliged to do so, take a further step to help impacted customers by initiating settlement discussions with uninsured Randburg, Parktown and Sunnypark customers who had their safety deposit boxes tampered with," Celliers said.

"In spite of the ongoing independent and criminal investigations, we hope that this proactive gesture will go some way to limiting the negative impact on our customers."

Celliers said a dedicated team would directly engage all impacted customers and the outcome of the settlement discussions would depend on individual customers providing evidence regarding the contents of their safety deposit boxes.

"Due to the unique circumstances of every individual claim, FNB is unable to confirm a timeline for the completion of the settlement discussions, but is committed to expediting the process."

Furthermore, the bank cannot divulge any details pertaining to the settlement negotiations due to confidentiality.

The bank recently confirmed the suspensions of three employees at its Parktown branch.

But FNB was unable to comment on the criminal investigation due to the ongoing police investigation.

African News Agency