Absa statement on media reports following the public protector’s provisional report

03 November 2017

Barclays Africa Group notes media reports today regarding a provisional report by the Public Protector (12 of 2016/17) dealing, in part, with the financial assistance Bankorp received from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) from 1985 to 1995.

We have co-operated fully with the Public Protector’s investigation and will continue to do so.

As this is a confidential provisional document released to a limited number of parties for comment and further input, it may change materially following further submissions. We have informed the Public Protector that we accept her invitation to make further submissions within the deadline of 28 February 2017, which will correct several factual and legal inaccuracies contained in the provisional report.

It is regrettable that the provisional report was leaked before further submissions and the finalisation thereof, because in its current form it creates the incorrect view that Absa Bank Limited (Absa), a subsidiary of the Group, received undue benefits by virtue of the SARB assistance to Bankorp.

Bankorp started receiving SARB assistance in 1985. Absa acquired Bankorp at fair value in April 1992. All the obligations pertaining to the SARB’s assistance were discharged in full by October 1995.

The Davis Panel of Experts appointed by the SARB Governor in June 2000 found that Absa’s shareholders did not derive any undue benefit from the SARB’s intervention and, as such, no claim of restitution could be pursued against Absa. We agree with this finding. The full Davis Panel report is available at: http://www.gov.za/sites/www.gov.za/files/gov_panelexperts_bankorp_0.pdf

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