Banks are in a tricky position regarding the battle between the Guptas and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan has applied for a court order declaring that he cannot intervene in the relationship (or lack of one) between the banks, and the Guptas and their businesses, after coming under heavy pressure to do so. Friday was the deadline for the banks to submit replying affidavits in the case. From a few conversations with bankers at the weekend, it appears the strategy has been to simply file a notice that they don’t oppose Gordhan’s motion, rather than responding affidavits that might contain significant new information. From a public interest point of view, that strategy is disappointing. The Gordhan application, which cited the big four banks among 21 respondents, included information from the Financial Intelligence Centre about 72 suspicious transactions that had been flagged involving the Guptas and their businesses amounting to R6.8bn. There was no detail about these transa...

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