Government-owned Post Bank and Ithala Development Finance Corporation were brought under the spotlight in the past week with VBS Mutual Bank being put under curatorship.

The Post Bank and Ithala get exemption from the National Treasury from being regulated as banks.

The Registrar of Banks emphasised that while VBS is a private institution, if it is to operate as a bank, it should be regulated as such.

The Post Bank as a state-owned bank does not require a banking licence to operate.

It is exempt from banking legislation by the National Treasury as it does not issue loans, limiting risk and depositors money is guaranteed by the state.

VBS, on the other hand, has been placed under curatorship as it faced worsening liquidity challenges and the Reserve Bank sought to protect depositors.

The Post Bank is also in the process of getting a banking licence. This would mean it would offer more services than it does currently.

It is hoped the transition into a commercial bank should be finalised by March 2018.

VBS mutual bank has recently applied for a full commercial banking licence, but this should take some time to be processed.