Fin24

More banks drop Auction Alliance

2012-03-01 08:33

Johannesburg - Absa Group [JSE:ASA] and Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] have ceased trade with Auction Alliance pending the outcome of investigations into claims of staff receiving kickbacks for preferential treatment, according to a report on Thursday.

The Cape Times reported that Nedbank forensic investigators had interrogated a contracted employee on Wednesday after he was supposedly implicated in the receipt of payments from the auction house.

"During the course of the day, our interrogations have progressed to such a stage that we have informed Auction Alliance that we will not refer any new cases to them until we have concluded our investigation," Nedbank's head of risk Philip Wessels told the newspaper.

Absa was also probing staff in its recovery division, which sells off the bank's distressed assets, many of which end up on auction.

The bank's deputy group CEO Louis von Zeuner said: "We stand for a particular ethic and no one is going to stand in the way of us living up to exactly that".

Auction Alliance CEO Rael Levitt has stepped down pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegations.

It was reported on Wednesday that First National Bank (FNB) and Investec [JSE:INL] had also stopped doing business with Auction Alliance.