Today's global financial systems are kept honest by a large network of local and global regulators who set rules and monitor compliance with such rules. Such regulators - when the job is done well - rarely make it into the spotlight. When they do, it is usually because something has gone wrong in the system. This week, the South African Reserve Bank had to account to parliament on two key matters: VBS and Capitec. Both banks have been in the news recently for different but complementary reasons. Capitec was subject to a storm initiated by a Viceroy report that cast doubt on the operational policies of the bank and suggested that its lending practices were so dangerous that the treasury should put the bank under curatorship. The regulators immediately responded and declared that all was well with the bank. Weeks later, the regulators did put a bank under curatorship - not Capitec, but a mutual bank called VBS, known more for lending money to former president Jacob Zuma than its banki...

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