Curator withdraws VBS’s 2017 financial statements

The turmoil at VBS Mutual Bank deepened on Monday, when the bank’s curator announced he was withdrawing its most recent financial statements.

In a media release, curator Anoosh Rooplal said VBS’s audited financial statements for the year ended March 31 2017 have been withdrawn “as they contain material misstatements and are no longer considered to be reliable”.

“Users of these financial statements are requested not to place reliance on these financial statements,” he said. The documents have been removed from the bank’s website.

Rooplal’s decision comes a day after VBS’s external auditor KPMG revealed that two of its partners involved in auditing the bank, had not fully disclosed their financial interests held with VBS.

The two partners, Sipho Malaba and Dumi Tshuma, had both resigned on Friday, ahead of disciplinary charges being laid against them.

Rooplal said that KPMG had been informed of the withdrawal, and that amended results would be reissued in due course.

The decision would not change the focus of the curatorship, he said.

“We are still of the view that the curatorship role provides the best mechanism to rehabilitate the bank if possible and my primary role of stabilising the bank and protecting the interests of depositors remains firm”.

VBS was placed into curatorship on March 11 after it experienced a severe liquidity crisis. Since Rooplal took over however further details have emerged pointing to far greater problems at the bank – including R900-million which cannot properly be accounted for. 

In light of the discoveries the Reserve Bank announced last week that it was launching a separate forensic investigation into the affairs of the bank. 

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Lynley Donnelly
Lynley Donnelly
Lynley is a senior business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. But she has covered everything from social justice to general news to parliament - with the occasional segue into fashion and arts. She keeps coming to work because she loves stories, especially the kind that help people make sense of their world.

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