VBS liquidator starts reconciling large claims from depositors, Newsline

CAPE TOWN – The liquidator of VBS Mutual Bank has received all claims from depositors that were lodged against the defunct bank and has begun a reconciliation process, according to an update given by the South African Reserve Bank.

This included claims exceeding the threshold of R100,000, beyond which claims are guaranteed by the SARB.

According to data given by the liquidator, Anoosh Rooplal, these included 171 claims from individual retail depositors with a cumulative value of R41.5 million (US$2.53 million), and 240 claims from stokvel saving groups, burial societies and other entities to a total value of R20.5 million.

It also included claims from municipalities who lost vast amounts of money after being manipulated into making deposits with VBS, in breach of public finance rules.

Rooplal said the liquidators would communicate regularly with proven creditors to keep them updated on the liquidation process.

Regarding claims of below R100,000, the reserve bank said 17,894 retail depositors qualified for repayment through Nedbank branches.

“Of the aforementioned qualifying accounts, 17,750 accounts were opened with Nedbank and the SARB transferred an amount of R261 million to Nedbank for the payment of qualifying retail depositors.”

By the end of September, 12,220 retail depositors who were entitled to balances totalling R255.8 million had activated their accounts with Nedbank, while the remaining 5,530 had not yet done so.

“Efforts have been made to reach out to all affected depositors to create awareness of the process to claim deposits.”

These depositors have until July 8, 2021, to claim their money from Nedbank.

The SARB said the Covid-19 pandemic had slowed collections on the VBS loan book but Rooplal remained committed to the process to recover as much money for the estate of the bank as possible.

Former VBS chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi and top executives of the bank are facing fraud and corruption charges over the scandal that saw roughly R2 billion looted from the bank’s holdings.

African News Agency