Let’s be clear, what has been happening at VBS is fraud. The regulator is not there to be detecting whether the institution is being defrauded. The board and the management of an institution are supposed to have proper systems of controls and governance to make sure that fraud is prevented." Those are the words of Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, stating what has become obvious about VBS Mutual Bank — but in this country, the obvious still needs to be stated. This week, we learnt that up to 75% of VBS’s assets may have been stolen, as the curator Anoosh Rooplal is now seeking to recover R1.5bn (of its assets of R2bn) from the bank’s majority shareholder Vele Investments and others. How is it possible that three-quarters of a bank can so brazenly be stolen? Especially in the modern era when every banker you meet will tell you about the asphyxiating regulations they are forced to comply with, the endless paperwork? However, VBS underscores what we should have learnt by now: gov...

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