JOHANNESBURG, Feb 8 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Nedbank denied any wrongdoing on Monday after three local news sites reported on its links to a scandal that led to large losses at public entities, sending the bank’s shares down almost 9%.
Investigative outlet amaBhungane, the Daily Maverick and News24 said Nedbank paid billions in rand in fees to a company called Regiments Capital for involving it in deals that lost money for municipalities and state-owned companies.
The article published by the three news sites said the commissions were often not disclosed to clients Regiments was supposed to be advising impartially and that Nedbank knew or should have known this, among other allegations.
In a statement responding to the article, Nedbank said there was nothing unlawful or unusual about its relationship with Regiments, although with hindsight it might have acted differently.
“Our internal and external reviews confirmed that Nedbank has at no time acted unlawfully in its dealings with Regiments and the affected counterparties,” Nedbank said.
An email to the address on Regiments’ website seeking comment bounced back, while a call to the number on its website went to the voice mail of another firm. Reuters could not immediately reach any legal representatives for Regiments.
Nedbank shares closed down 8.87% versus a 1.9% decline for the South African banking index. (Reporting by Emma Rumney. Editing by Mark Potter)
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