VBS Mutual Bank. Picture: SUPPLIED
VBS Mutual Bank. Picture: SUPPLIED

Former VBS Mutual Bank clients are relieved to see their money in a reputable bank and most have not opted to withdraw the money provided to them under the deposit insurance guarantee of the Reserve Bank.

This is the view of Nedbank executive Dave Schwegmann, who, as the person responsible for retail and business banking in the country’s northern region, was charged with overseeing Nedbank’s intervention in the VBS debacle.

At the instruction of the Reserve Bank, Nedbank undertook to open accounts for all retail depositors of VBS who would receive up to R100,000 as part of the deposit guarantee provided to them.

Nedbank brought in additional resources to branches in Thohoyandou and Makhado in anticipation of the process, which began on July 13.

The curator of VBS had provided Nedbank with a database of about 20,000 depositors who were to be refunded in the days leading up to Friday.

This allowed the bank to open and then block accounts for all customers, shortening the administrative functions to be performed at the branches, biometrically enrolling clients and providing them with bank cards, which could be used to withdraw money from ATMs.

By close of business on Monday, Nedbank had opened over 1,300 accounts (7% of the total) but withdrawals were negligible, Schwegmann said, despite clients having the ability to withdraw up to R5,000 a day in line with the limits of the account. "The overwhelming feedback has been that the clients are just happy to see their names and money on a Nedbank bank statement, with the freedom to withdraw their money when they want," he said.