SME Bank creditors to be paid

12 November 2019 | Banking

CATHERINE SASMAN

The Master of the High Court has authorised the first creditors’ meeting and first members’ meeting of the SME Bank in liquidation.

The meeting will take place at the Master’s Building in Windhoek on 4 December at 10:00. Notices of the meeting will be published in the Government Gazette, as well as The Namibian and Republikein newspapers.

Liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren were authorised to pay out up to N$25 000 to each creditor at the date of the bank’s liquidation and as indicated in the creditor’s bank statement on 11 July 2017.

The shareholders of the SME Bank – Namibia Financing Trust (Pty) Ltd, representing the Namibian government which holds 65% of the shares; Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe (35%); and World Eagle Investments (5%) – have until 19 November to show cause why the creditors’ meeting and first members’ meeting should not take place.

Creditors

Elsie Beukes, Master of the High Court, states in her founding application that there are 23 259 claims to be made, to the combined value of over N$1 billion.

She says Metropolitan Bank’s “barrage of litigation and opposition” levelled against the liquidators and her office delayed the liquidation of the SME Bank.

She states that MetBank had “vehemently” opposed the liquidation of the SME Bank and final winding down at “every step of the way”, and when it was finally liquidated, appealed against the decision to the Supreme Court.

All MetBank’s attempts were unsuccessful, but it launched a fresh application this year to have the liquidation process declared null and void.

Beukes says MetBank and World Eagle are being given the opportunity to voice their concerns about the decision to pay out the SME Bank creditors although they are not fully paid-up members or shareholders of the SME Bank.

MetBank and World Eagle had outstanding membership and shareholding fees of N$121.5 million and N$20.2 million (plus 20% annual interest) respectively by July 2017.

The creditors, liquidators and fully paid-up shareholders (who are also members) of the SME Bank, or their representatives, are entitled to inspect the claim documents during office hours at the Master’s office.

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