A run on a bank can take on a life of its own, spreading like wildfire and wreaking havoc on a country's banking system, which is why state institutions and others have rushed to Capitec's defence. The concerted effort was to contain the damage inflicted by a Viceroy Research report released this week which said in its opening paragraph: "We believe that the South African Reserve Bank & Minister of Finance should immediately place Capitec into curatorship." Strong stuff, and more than enough to panic the market. Capitec quickly tried to calm customers with an SMS saying: "Your money is safe & we continue with business as usual." It also refuted the allegations. The Reserve Bank acted fast, saying on Tuesday that Capitec had sufficient liquidity, and on Thursday the National Treasury called Viceroy reckless, adding that it was not acting in the interests of financial stability.All of which points to mounting anxiety that sizable withdrawals from the bank could destabilise the banking...

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