JOHANNESBURG – South African banks say they cannot comment on their clients after they cut ties with Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.
Absa, Nedbank, FNB and Standard responded to eNCA.com on whether they will engage with the government after Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe announced an inter-ministerial committee was set up to meet the four major banks.
On Friday Absa and First National Bank said Radebe hadn&39;t approached them yet..
“Absa notes the minister’s (Jeff Radebe) comments and confirms that no meeting has taken place nor has an invitation to a meeting been received as yet,” said an Absa spokesperson.
The bank said it was not allowed to divulge any further information on the Oakbay matter.
“Unfortunately we cannot comment on customer and client matters, because we respect client confidentiality and we are prohibited by law from commenting on matters about our customers and clients.”
“First National Bank has not been approached for a meeting with the respective cabinet ministers,” said a spokesperson for FNB.
“The bank engages with (the) government on an ongoing basis.”
Nedbank also said it could not provide information on the minister&39;s invitation nor the Oakbay matter.
“Nedbank cannot provide details of its banking relationships with any of its clients due to banker-client confidentiality,” said Nedbank spokesperson Joanne Isaacs.
Meanwhile, Standard Bank simply said: “We have no comment.”
The banks also would not comment on Radebe&39;s statement that their decision to cut ties with Oakbay would scare off potential investors.
Radebe announced on Thursday that three cabinet ministers – Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were appointed to communicate with banks on why they chose to end their relationship with Oakbay.
Oakbay&39;s new auditors insist the group&39;s companies dealings are legally sound.