Is John Catsicas unaware of bankers’ discretion (in fact obligation) to decline loans for patently irrational, corrupt and fraudulent propositions or, alternatively, the fundamental principle of “know your customer?” (“Banks cannot be blamed for countries’ financial ruin”, February 11).

Black economic empowerment (BEE) and loans to dysfunctional and bankrupt state-owned enterprises into which SA banks happily poured hundreds of billions of rand are prime examples of how our banks — for short-term greed and profit — colluded with the ANC’s economic lunacies. They awoke only belatedly to the criminality of the Gupta brothers.

Globally, banks are chartered (and accordingly privileged) to garner wealth for the common benefit of society. Their charters are not licences to plunder the public purse and/or saddle the citizenry and taxpayers with “odious debts” that make no banking or economic sense.

The failure of banks to meet such obligations is, however, not unique to SA.  Deutsche Bank (once the backbone of Germany’s economy) is an estimated €20-trillion underwater, and may yet collapse not only Germany but also the EU. The corrupt practices of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are also being exposed.  And as for Barclays, well, enough said!

Terry Crawford-Browne
Via e-mail

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