The SA Reserve Bank has confirmed that the Bank of Baroda is closing down its operations in South Africa.
“The Bank of Baroda has notified the Office of the Registrar of Banks of its exit from South Africa. The Registrar‚ which is part of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)‚ is in discussions with the Bank of Baroda to ensure its orderly withdrawal from South Africa so that no depositor is disadvantaged. At this stage‚ the SARB has no further comments on the matter‚” the Reserve Bank said in a statement issued to TimesLIVE on Monday.
In October last year‚ the High Court in Pretoria ordered the Bank of Baroda to keep the accounts of Gupta-linked companies open. Judge Tati Makgoka granted an interdict against the bank‚ prohibiting the lender from deactivating or closing the banking accounts of the Gupta businesses‚ or from terminating the banker-customer relationship.
The matter pertains to an application the companies made against the Indian-based bank. Baroda wanted to join four major banks in South Africa – Absa‚ Standard Bank‚ Nedbank and FNB – in closing Gupta-linked accounts. The Bank of China also closed Gupta-linked accounts.
Bank of Baroda notified the companies in March that their accounts would be closed from the end of August‚ and later the deadline was extended to the end of September. After losing an interim order application in September‚ the companies brought a new last-minute application to the court.