Residual Debt Services (RDS), the "bad book" of the old African Bank, has fully funded its indemnity reserve and curator Tom Winterboer is now casting an eye on paying the organisation’s maiden coupon to creditors in January.

The R3bn indemnity fund was established as a bulwark against claims from investors in the collapsed bank, which has emerged from Winterboer’s care and is readying itself for a transactional banking offering. It is open for claims until 2024.

The Treasury and Reserve Bank had availed a facility of the same amount as insurance for any claims while RDS built up its reserves. With RDS raising the full amount from the collections it has made on the bad book, the two institutions have been released of their obligation to provide the facility.

RDS is planning to use cash collected to pay investors, who were given stubs in RDS in exchange for their securities in the old African Bank as part of the curatorship, after the release of its financial statements for the year to September.

The exact coupon is still being worked out.

The collections team would now continue to collect for payment to the senior creditors, said Winterboer. "We will know more on that number closer to the time. The coupon used then is [the Johannesburg Interbank Agreed Rate] plus 3%."

The rate was at 6.99% at the market close yesterday.

As part of the rescue package, the Treasury and Reserve Bank had granted the indemnity facility and a transaction loan of R3.3bn to African Bank, taking the total assistance value to R6.3bn. The loan was fully repaid in September 2016, two years earlier than expected.

The repayment of the loan and the funding of the indemnity reserve meant the Reserve Bank and the Treasury were released from their potential liability of R6.3bn, said Winterboer.


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