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Bank of Baroda will no longer operate in South Africa

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

The of Baroda (BoB), which is embroiled in involving the embattled Gupta family, will no longer operate in South Africa, the country's central said today.

"The of Baroda has notified the Office of the of Banks of its exit from South Africa," the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in a statement, amidst the controversy surrounding the Gupats close links with embattled South African

"The Registrar, which is part of the South African Reserve Bank, is in discussions with the to ensure its orderly withdrawal from so that no depositor is disadvantaged," it said in brief statement.

It added that the SARB would make no further comment on the matter.

There was no immediate comments from the local branch of the BoB.

The BoB opened its first branch here in 2007 after having run an office in the port city of for a decade.

The Indian came under the scanner after it emerged in April 2016 as the only bank willing to do business with the Gupta brothers - Ajay, and - who are accused of involvement in alleged state capture through their closeness to Zuma and his family members.

"Despite the cessation of the provision of services by the local banks, the group continues to be serviced by a Asian bank with a presence in South Africa, which bank has requested that the company not communicate their name in this update," had confirmed in a statement released via the JSE at the time after all South African banks closed their accounts.

The Guptas and Duduzane Zuma, the son of Zuma, resigned as directors of the company shortly before the statement on the bank, in order to ensure that its over 5,000 employees would not be affected by non-payment of salaries.

and were the co-chairs of Oakbay Investments, while was the of and Energy.

When it came to light that the initially was the BoB, its decision was queried by regulators and political leaders.

The BoB issued a statement on its website to explain why it could not divulge details of the transactions involving the

"The client relationship which is subject matter of the is sub-judice and the Bank is also bound by client confidentiality. It is also the policy of the Bank to not comment on speculative reports.

"The Bank, having due regard for all lawful requirements, remains committed to cooperate with the regulators for all enquiries in this connection," it said in the statement at the time.

The has been under pressure for the past few years for allegedly being very close to President Zuma and benefiting unduly from the government contracts through its companies in areas as diverse as and media.

The Guptas first settled in two decades ago from their Saharanpur ancestral home to cash in on the opportunities offered by the new democratic under Nelson Mandela.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 18:25 IST