With the state-capture inquiry about to kick off, the Bank of Baroda announced on Monday it was shutting down its South African branches. The instruction is said to have come from the bank’s headquarters in India. The bank, which provided banking services to the Gupta family when other banks would not, said its parent company was “rationalising” branches in international markets. There was speculation at the weekend that it would exit SA. Baroda said it would stop taking new deposits from March and cease operations altogether at the end of March. The South African Reserve Bank said the registrar of banks was in talks with Baroda to ensure its orderly withdrawal to protect depositors. The bank had R2.6bn in deposits at the end of December, according to regulatory filings. Manoj Kumar Jha, the bank’s South African acting CEO, declined to comment. The latest developments come after the bank became ensnared in state-capture allegations through its association with the Gupta family, its ...

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