Jacques Celliers Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Jacques Celliers Picture: BUSINESS DAY

FNB CEO Jacques Celliers says the bank has appointed external investigators to work with the Hawks to investigate the theft of hundreds of safety deposit boxes from two FNB branches during December.

"We deeply regret the impact this has on our loyal customers. It’s a monster thing that affects a lot of people. We’ve had a messy few weeks [but] none of our messiness comes close to what people are going through," Celliers said on Thursday.

Safety deposit boxes belonging to hundreds of customers were stolen from FNB’s Randburg and Parktown branches on December 18 and 31 respectively. Losses ranged from R100,000 to R4m, said a spokesman for victims.

Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

"It hurts. We work hard on our trust and to keep our loyal customers. These things have a major impact on us, our brand and our teams," said Celliers.

FNB had put together an "admin office" to help customers who had lost important documents. It would cover printing and courier costs, he said. The bank would also help customers who had insurance to process claims. It would consider covering the excess on a case-by-case basis, Celliers said.

He would not be drawn on whether FNB would reimburse customers who had no insurance, saying only that the bank would need to wait for the investigation to be finalised.

"We’re hoping that a big portion did have insurance," he said, referring to safety deposit box contracts that placed this responsibility with customers.

Celliers urged all customers, whether insured or not, to come forward and specify what was in their boxes to clarify as much of the detail as possible.

It was premature to say whether or not it was an inside job, he said. "If there was internal involvement we’ll take the appropriate actions."

Affected FNB customers and members of the public who might have information regarding the thefts can e-mail safecustodyhelp@fnb.co.za.

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