Deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele says there was no reason for regulatory authorities to have suspected early on that the doomed VBS Mutual Bank would be brazenly looted. “Many of the board members of VBS are chartered accountants, lawyers or other professionals. It is with good reason that Treasury and the Reserve Bank was of the view that VBS was under good hands,” Gungubele said during an urgent ANC-sponsored debate on VBS on Tuesday in Parliament. During the debate, many opposition parties suggested that the National Treasury and Reserve Bank were too slow to take action despite early signs that something was amiss. “Banks are regulated to protect depositors … [regulatory authorities] do not manage banks on a day-to-day basis,” said Gungubele. He said, however, the Reserve Bank had in 2017 flagged VBS as high risk after it grew rapidly in three years. Both internal and external auditors had ignored the looting.

“There is nothing black about this, this is theft … it’...

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