FNB cuts ties with trading firm

FNB cuts ties with trading firm

MASERU – THE First National Bank (FNB) Lesotho says it has cut ties with a troubled foreign currency trading company.
In a statement released last week, the bank said it had terminated its relationship with Tumelo David Hlazi, T/A Hlazvill Consultancy with effect from January 18, 2019.
“All funds held in his accounts with us have been released into his custody. First National Bank of Lesotho Limited shall not be held liable for any claims whatsoever pertaining to Tumelo David Hlazi T/A Hlazvill Consultancy,” the statement reads.

Earlier Hlazivill Trading Forex was accused of operating illegally without a certificate from the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) and violating the Financial Institution Act of 1999.
The law states that no banking or credit business shall be transacted either in Lesotho or abroad by a local financial institution or in Lesotho by foreign financial institution unless that institution has been licensed by a commissioner.

Teboho Mabaleha, a shareholder and investor of Hlazvill Consultancy, said the commercial court advised FNB and Hlazivill Consultancy to see to it that investors get their money back and the case of whether the company is operating illegally or not shall proceed thereafter.
He said the CBL had assisted FNB to file a case against them in the courts of law.

“The CBL assisted FNB to file a case and accuse us in the commercial court. Thereafter, it wants to mediate between us and the FNB. How could it be transparent yet it was working hand-in-hand with FNB?” Mabaleha quipped.

He further said the CBL wanted to be a mediator thus taking the responsibility of paying back the investors by hiring people at the expense of Hlazivill consultancy.
He however said they rejected the offer and insisted that Hlazivill consultancy should pay back its investors as it promised.
Mabaleha said the CBL is resistant to change and wants to seize any means that Basotho could use to generate cash.
He alleged the central bank were determined to stop Basotho from earning a living.

Mabaleha said the decision by the Central Bank will also hurt local banks because they get interest from Basotho who bank with them.
He said he asked the FNB three times pertaining the statement but they did not want to be specific whether the customers of Hlazvill consultancy who are using FNB accounts would get the money or not.

Mabaleha said the company owes investors M163 million and according to their expectations, they were supposed to pay people by the end of January this year.
“We were arranging to pay our clients month end of January but we had to wait for our case in the commercial court,” he said.
He said he is sure that they will definitely pay people because when they do estimations, they discovered that they will be able to pay M178 million and be left with M16 million.
Efforts to get comment from the Central Bank of Lesotho failed last night.

Katakata Lethoasa

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