ICTU raises concerns over bank account closures, alleges political influence

Published Mar 27, 2024


The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) expressed deep concern over what it calls the "irrational acts" of South African banks in closing their clients' bank accounts.

The statement highlights the ongoing disputes between certain individual clients, companies like the Sekunjalo Group, and major banks.

ICTU emphasised that while banks have legal requirements and obligations, the reasons provided for closing accounts often lack substance and are deemed "fishing or unconvincing". The union pointed out that banks are bound by ethical and legal standards to prevent financial crimes such as money laundering and corruption but should not engage in illegal activities themselves.

Professor Sipho Seepe, a prominent voice, raised concerns about the timing and motivations behind recent closures, particularly highlighting the case of former president Jacob Zuma's bank accounts by FNB. These actions, according to ICTU, not only damage the image of affected clients but also have severe economic consequences, leading to job losses and business restructuring.

The union accused banks of becoming political players, alleging that they are used as instruments by the government to target certain individuals and companies. ICTU noted with alarm the continuous closures of Sekunjalo Group's bank accounts, affecting their operations and potentially leading to 8,000 job losses.

Furthermore, ICTU criticised the judiciary and government for their inaction in addressing banking practices and corruption, citing instances of perceived bias and failures in holding banks accountable.

The statement concluded with a call for an independent investigation into banks' actions and urged for accountability in light of alleged corrupt activities within the banking sector.

This development underscores growing concerns about the intersection of politics, finance, and corporate power in South Africa's economic landscape.