nthabeleng likotsi

Nthabeleng Likotsi blasted for starting ‘another VBS’

Andile Sicetsha - 04.06.2021

Nthabeleng Likotsi says YWBN Mutual Bank is “for the benefit of black people.”

Pioneering businesswoman Nthabeleng Likotsi has had a rough day on social media, only days after she’d sold a million shares of her YWBN Mutual Bank.

Is YWBN Mutual Bank legitimate?

Finance consultant and founder of Banker X, Koshiek Karan, was one of the very few who’d cast a doubtful glance at this overwhelmingly impressive feat.

It all started when YWBN was questioned on collecting mandatory and non-refundable ‘admin’ fees of R100 from public investors.

However, Karan’s breakdown of the bank’s financial prospectus completely shot down every hope that the mutual bank was — to say the least — launching from solid grounds.

The gist of it is, public shareholders are encouraged to buy a stake in 19% ownership of a crowdfunded bank projected to only start making profits after six years.

Moreover, dividend payments are not guaranteed and should you wish to sell at any given time, the request must be taken to the board for consideration.

Nthabeleng Likotsi defends ‘black empowerment’ project

These ‘unconventional’ policies and other glaring red flags Karan exposed in the bank’s rollout forced Likotsi into defending her reputation and that of the business.

In a series of tweets, Likotsi explained that her bank was for “the benefit of black people” who, unlike other races with ‘old’ money, “we need all our R1 000 to build from scratch.”

“The proposed NL Mutual Bank is developmental in its nature, building from the CFI principles. We cannot be structured like the commercial banks if we really want to help black businesses, it’s not emotional blackmail it’s a fact!” she exclaimed.

However, much of the public’s frustration with Likotsi came from her not directly responding to specific questions about the bank’s R5 billion valuation or the total capital invested by the founders — who own 44% of YWBN Mutual Bank.

Since Friday’s backlash, Likotsi has doubled down on her investment drive. In the businesswoman’s own words:

The Finance Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) had not responded to our questions on the trustworthiness of YWBN Mutual Bank at the time this article was published.