The South African Reserve Bank painted a grim picture on Monday that suggests as much as 75% of VBS Mutual Bank’s assets may have been stolen by its executives and directors. "It’s a travesty that the failure of management put so many depositors at risk," said Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, at a media conference on the curatorship of VBS. "Institutions such as banks rely on the governance processes, but when it’s the people responsible for the bank that are the ones perpetrating the crime, no amount of regulation can prevent that," he said. VBS, which was formed as a building society in the former Venda homeland, came to national prominence in 2016 when it gave former president Jacob Zuma a R7.8m loan after he was ordered to repay the state for upgrades made to his Nkandla home. The bank’s failure may yet have grave consequences for municipalities in some of the poorest parts of the country, which stand to lose almost all of the R1.6bn they deposited with VBS, increasing the risk o...

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