SARS slaps Sasfin with R4.9 billion claim

 ·27 Feb 2024

Sasfin Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sasfin Holdings, has been served a civil summons for R4.87 billion plus interests and costs in the form of damages claim from SARS.

The summons was received on 9 January 2024 and followed SARS’ inability to collect income tax VAT and penalties allegedly owed by former foreign exchange clients.

“Former foreign exchange clients of the Bank operated as a syndicate that ran an unlawful scheme to facilitate the expatriation of money out of South Africa and colluded with former employees of the Bank who operated outside the scope of their employment,” the group said.

“The Bank took decisive action when it became aware of this unlawful scheme, including instituting an expanded investigation led by an independent forensic consultancy. This resulted in the termination of relationships with the implicated clients and employees and the opening of criminal cases against them.”

After receiving the summons, the Bank obtained a legal opinion from ENS, which stated that the claim falls outside of the recognised parameters of applicable law and has a small chance of success.

On the basis of the Legal Opinion, Sasfin has concluded that the claim will not result in the recognition of any liability.

Although the matter has been announced on SENS, Sasfin’s board believes that SARS’ claim has no merit and little chance of success.

“The Bank will therefore defend the claim, and given that this involves a defended trial action, the matter is only likely to come to trial in several years’ time,”

Read: Kieswetter staying on at SARS for two more years

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