Banks to probe auction scheme
Cape Town - Three banks will investigate claims that some of
their staff colluded with Auction Alliance, liquidators and attorneys in a
money-making racket, according to a report on Monday.
The Cape Times reported that Absa Group [JSE:ASA] and
Investec [JSE:INL] had launched internal investigations into claims that their
staff pushed business the way of Auction Alliance.
A third bank, which asked not to be named, said it had begun
an internal audit into all auctions as a "pre-emptive move".
Auction Alliance CEO and founder Rael Levitt allegedly said
in emails that the kickbacks would be paid in cash.
It is alleged that staff at various banks were paid large
sums of money to ensure the company received preferential treatment. Kickbacks
typically comprised half the company's earned commission.
Levitt has denied all allegations, calling them defamatory.