The controversial Gupta family is banking on the South African Post Office being granted a licence as a way to save its businesses, the Sunday Times reported.
The family, who have been accused of alleged State Capture – which they have refuted countless times – are facing desperate times after yet another bank, India-based Bank of Baroda gave Gupta owned companies until the end of September to remove their money from the bank.
The Bank of Baroda has said that it no longer wants to do business with the family because of the reputational damage and risks its companies presented.
It comes after the country’s biggest banks – Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank and First National Bank – also closed their Gupta-related accounts citing similar reasons.
The Guptas agreed last month to sell their shares in The New Age newspaper and ANN7 channel to Lodidox‚ a company owned by Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi‚ for R450 million.
This, the Sunday Times said, was due to pressures created by the Bank of Baroda which leaves the family with few remaining options.
Should Postbank begin providing full banking services, the Guptas hope it “will be unbiased and will consider their requests for opening accounts favourably”, said Oakbay Investments acting CEO Ronica Ragavan.
In July last year, the South African Reserve Bank approved The South African Post Office (SAPO)’s first-level application for a banking licence for Postbank.
Fin24 reported in January that the Post Office was due to submit an application to register Postbank as a lender by July 3, 2017. And while that date has come gone, minister of telecommunications, Siyabonga Cwele, has suggested that a licence is imminent.