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Banking & Finance Law
Banking & Finance
Discovery has been granted a banking licence, putting the health and life insurance group a little closer to its goal of establishing a retail bank by 2018. The granting of the licence to NewDisc Limited, shortly to be renamed Discovery Bank, was still subject to certain regulatory conditions, including shareholder and Competition Commission requirements, the company said in a statement recorded on the BusinessLIVE site.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has interdicted the Bank of Baroda from closing 20 Gupta-linked bank accounts pending the final outcome of their main application, says a BusinessLIVE report. The companies approached the court in September in a bid to have the date of the main application, which was meant to be heard in December, brought forward. Judge Tati Makgoka ordered that the bank not deactivate or close the companies accounts in the meantime. He also ordered that the Gupta companies lodge their final application within 15 days of his judgment.
Home-owners who default on their bond payments should not despair as they will not lose their property if they pay before it is sold. The Star reports this was the message from Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) acting Judge JG Rautenbach, who said people often threw in the towel when they received an order that they had to repay the outstanding bond, as well as an order declaring that the property may be sold so that the bank could recover its losses.
Victims of Internet banking fraud are increasingly fighting their banks in court, notes a BusinessLIVE report which says they’re demanding access to key information to determine who is liable for losses from defrauded accounts. Cape Town businessman and Absa client Johan Holtzhauzen, who was defrauded of R1.6m after his wife’s paid-up bond account and his business accounts were plundered this year, is one of the latest victims to have brought an application for a court order in the Western Cape High Court to compel Absa to give him pertinent information.
Pressure continued to build on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane yesterday after Absa filed a supplementary affidavit with the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) in its bid to have Mkhwebane’s findings that it pay back R1.125bn over the apartheid-era bailout of Bankorp set aside. In June Mkhwebane ordered Absa to pay back the money the SA Reserve Bank used to bail out Bankorp, which was later bought by Absa, notes a Fin24 report.
Eskom CFO Anoj Singh was suspended yesterday by the board of directors after lenders threatened to recall their loans if no action was taken against him. A Business Day report recalls that Singh has been at the centre of corruption allegations at Eskom that include providing financial assistance to the Guptas to buy Optimum mine through authorising pre-payments and a R1.6bn guarantee for the finance.
Mercantile Bank has been taken to court over allegations it conspired with an alleged fraudster in illegal asset stripping worth hundreds of millions of rands. A Fin24 report says the litigation could not have come at a worse time, as the Portuguese-owned and SA-based bank is up for sale. Alert Steel is seeking damages of R351m caused by alleged ‘mastermind’ Rayhaan Hassim, Mercantile Bank and West Lake Trade and Investments following what it believes was an illegal liquidation process in 2014.
In what is seen as a sop to those, prompted by the Public Protector's remedial action in the Absa matter directing a change in the central bank's mandate, the ANC has agreed that the Reserve Bank should be owned by the state, notes Legalbrief. The party's economic transformation subcommittee head Enoch Godongwana confirmed this yesterday, but added it won't happen anytime soon.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recommendation to amend the Reserve Bank’s constitutional mandate had nothing to do with her investigation into the apartheid-era Bankorp ‘lifeboat’, and was only aimed at stripping the Bank of its powers to maintain price stability, the bank said yesterday, according to a Business Day report. Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, applied to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to review and set aside sections of Mkhwebane’s report on the lifeline granted to Bankorp, which Absa subsequently acquired.
A man’s ambitious KZN High Court (Durban) bid to have Wesbank’s trading licences revoked, has fallen flat on its face, notes a report in The Mercury. Sivapragasen Naidu also wanted the SA Reserve Bank to ‘reprimand and enlighten Wesbank of their failure to comply with the Banking Code of Conduct, government regulatory Acts’ and for the court to order the bank to pay him a R4.6m counterclaim he lodged in 2011, following court action being instituted against him.
SA should protect the independence of the Reserve Bank and must evaluate what effect the recommendations of the Public Protector to alter its mandate will have on the institution, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says, according to a BusinessLIVE report. ‘I respect the right of the Public Protector to make whatever determination but I also support fully the independence of the South African Reserve Bank,’ Gigaba said a Bloomberg Television interview in London.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has refused to enforce an ‘accelerator’ clause in a home loan agreement based on a 2016 Constitutional Court judgment making it much more difficult for banks to take back the homes of defaulters, a Beeld report notes.
Government’s decision to increase the rate of a dividend withholding tax and apply it from 22 February 2017 when the Budget Speech took place creates tax uncertainty, Parliament was told yesterday, according to a Fin24 report. The Standing Committee on Finance hosted public hearing on the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of the Revenue Laws Bill, which will enable tax rates changes announced during the 2017 Budget.
If Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba fails to postpone implementation of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (Fica) Bill – President Jacob Zuma signed the Bill into law on Saturday – the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) will challenge the legislation in the Constitutional Court on the grounds that it gives undue powers to the banking sector, notes Legalbrief. PPF spokesperson Luther Lebelo reportedly told News24 that the organisation supports the Bill’s aim to combat crime, but wants to ensure the rights of its members are not discarded.
A man who lost R1.8m from his bank account is part of a growing group of outraged clients gearing up for a legal fight with banks, says a Fin24 report. The banks implicated by more than 20 clients are Absa, Standard Bank, FNB and Capitec. The mobile network providers are Vodacom and MTN. ‘We hope to launch in the next few weeks but as more information comes out and victims come forward, we are considering all avenues,’ attorney Johan Victor reportedly told Fin24.