* Capitec says loan book does not need to be adjusted
* Viceroy says central bank should scrutinise Capitec
* Capitec says its loan figures are accurate (Recasts with Viceroy statement and Capitec’s reaction)
By Tanisha Heiberg
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 5 (Reuters) - South African bank Capitec said on Monday it had no need to adjust its loan book after facing further criticism from U.S. firm Viceroy Research about its financial reporting.
Capitec last week dismissed allegations by Viceroy that it overstates its assets and income, and was backed by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) which said Capitec was “solvent, well capitalised and has adequate liquidity.”
But Viceroy stepped up its criticism on Monday, saying the SARB should scrutinise Capitec more closely.
“The South African Reserve Bank has a responsibility to determine whether the information provided to them – and on which they base their regulatory decisions is accurate. We do not think it is,” Viceroy said in a statement.
“The SARB has, at this point, a responsibility to perform a full regulatory inspection of Capitec. Viceroy remains firm in its belief that this will result in SARB placing Capitec into curatorship,” it said.
Capitec, in response, said arrears figures it had reported on its loans were accurate and that provisions raised against loans were conservative. Capitec shareholders could expect “fresh attacks and false allegations” from the U.S. firm over an extended period, it said.
Capitec’s shares fell more that 20 percent last week after Viceroy alleged Capitec had impairments of 11 billion rand ($912 million) and had, among other things, fabricated new loans and collections.
In an earlier statement on Monday, Capitec said its loan book was incorrectly portrayed in the Viceroy report and again denied overstating its income and assets.
“The Viceroy report presents information that is not clearly comparable and fails to present information that is easily available in the public domain,” Capitec said.
Capitec said in its later statement on Monday that the SARB was fully aware of the credit scoring models and the risk targets set when extending credit.
The South African government last week asked the financial services regulator to consider launching a market abuse probe into Viceroy Research after the release of the report. ($1 = 12.0655 rand) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Susan Fenton)