Topic: Banking

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Trade Finance – no respite from inventory and documentation fraud

The increase in documentation fraud which has adversely impacted financial institutions operating within the trade finance space is an unwanted development that blockchain technology can mitigate. The types of lending most frequently seen in the trade financing space, including letters of credit, revolving credit facilities as well as guarantees have proven susceptible to fraud. An … Continue reading

Failure to submit valuation reports will result in the imposition of administrative penalties

On 17 March 2021, the Financial Services Tribunal confirmed that failure to timeously submit an actuarial valuation can result in the imposition of administrative penalties on a pension fund. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) may take into consideration the number of days that the pension fund was late in submitting the actuarial valuation when … Continue reading

Green Bonds – an alternative investment opportunity

What are Green bonds? Green bonds (also referred to as Climate Bonds) are like typical bonds but their distinguishing feature is that the proceeds of the bond are ring-fenced and exclusively allocated to support “green projects” aimed at mitigating climate change and promoting energy efficiency, pollution prevention, sustainable agriculture, clean transport, and the cultivation of … Continue reading

A growing market for green finance

Climate change is no longer a future threat. The associated risks have already had a devastating impact on the financial sector. Financial institutions are financially exposed to the physical risks associated with more frequent severe weather events, as well as the transition risks associated with the changes necessary to achieve a low-carbon economy. Mortgage, commercial … Continue reading

FSCA takes first steps in the regulation of crypto assets

On 20 November 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority issued a draft Declaration of Crypto Assets as a Financial Product under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 2002 (FAIS Act). The Declaration will be made in terms paragraph (h) of the definition of ‘financial product’ in the FAIS Act, which provides that a financial … Continue reading

FSCA clamps down on FICA non-compliance

Financial services providers (FSPs) registered under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 2002 fall within the ambit of ‘accountable institutions’ under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 2001. As accountable institutions, these FSPs are obliged to comply with the FIC Act and are subject to oversight by the FSCA. The FSCA has recently investigated compliance with … Continue reading

FSCA publishes the conduct standard for banks

When the Financial Sector Regulation Act (FSRA) was introduced in 2018, the FSCA was tasked with regulating and supervising the way banks conduct themselves in relation to the provision of financial products and services to customers. In fulfilment of this mandate, the FSCA has published a conduct standard for banks. The conduct standard is supported … Continue reading

Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill 2020 to go to Parliament

During a virtual meeting held on 10 June 2020, Cabinet approved the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill of 2020, for submission to Parliament. In the first step to formalising a resolution process for financially distressed banks, the Bill proposes to designate the SARB as the Resolution Authority, and enhances the SARB’s regulatory tools for discharging … Continue reading

FSCA publishes two drafts: conduct standard and directive for securities exchanges

On 20 May 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) published a draft Conduct Standard for Exchanges and a draft Directive for Exchanges. Conduct Standard for Securities Exchanges The main objective of the proposed conduct standard is to introduce requirements for the conduct of securities exchanges in response to increased competition in the South African … Continue reading

COVID-19 guaranteed loan scheme for businesses with an annual turnover of less than R300 million

In a further initiative to combat the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state, in collaboration with the banking sector and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced a R100 billion loan scheme to assist ailing small and medium-sized businesses (SMMEs). On 12 May 2020 National Treasury, the SARB and the Banking Association … Continue reading

International Financing Institutions’ loans available to government and private companies as relief from COVID-19

In his address on 21 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government will be approaching international finance institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the BRICS New Development Bank and the African Development Bank to help fund the R500 billion COVID-19 economic relief package that will be provided by government. International … Continue reading

10 things to know about OTC derivative provider licences in South Africa

South Africa has supported the G20’s efforts to reduce the risk posed by over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, and has put in place a regulatory framework for the licensing of OTC providers that originate, issue, sell or make a market in OTC derivatives. The Financial Markets Act 2002 prescribes criteria for the authorisation of OTC derivative providers. … Continue reading

Dirty money and the rise of digital payments

Exchanging bank notes and coins are increasingly seen as risky business, as noted by Thomson Reuters in an article on the rise of digital money transactions. The COVID-19 pandemic may speed up the global move towards digital-only payments. Apart from the more widespread use of payment apps, electronic funds transfers and cryptocurrencies, the idea of … Continue reading

Government and banks offer debt relief for businesses affected by COVID-19

As South African businesses suffer the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, small businesses can apply for debt relief from most of the major South African banks and several state programmes. The Department of Small Business has announced multiple interventions to assist small businesses. In addition to tax subsidies and incentives for compliant … Continue reading

COVID-19 and Finance Documents: Clauses to consider

The COVID-19 pandemic affects borrowers and lenders and their financing arrangements. The most significant clause to consider is the Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clause – this clause broadly captures unpredictable and unforeseen events or circumstances that would otherwise be difficult to incorporate into the agreement specifically. Read our article on the impacts of COVID-19 on … Continue reading

COVID-19 and Finance Documents: Could the Material Adverse Effect clause be triggered?

How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect borrowers and lenders and their financing arrangements? A Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clause is included in most finance agreements. It is a catch-all concept to capture unpredictable and unforeseen events or circumstances that would otherwise be difficult to incorporate into the agreement specifically. Broadly, a MAE clause covers a … Continue reading

The decline of LIBOR and the new risk-free interest rates

The history of manipulation and scandals surrounding interbank offered rates (IBORs), for example LIBOR and JIBAR, has led to the shift toward Risk-Free Rates (RFRs), a shift which is primarily market led and remains uncertain. The transition to RFR’s rests on the fact that rates such as LIBOR are forward-looking interest rates, calculated using estimates … Continue reading

FinTech in the legal arena

Financial technology, often referred to as FinTech, is the marriage between financial and technology services. The FinTech offering seeks to provide innovative alternatives to traditional methods in the delivery of financial services. The different categories that sit within the ambit of the broader FinTech offering include: lending, payments, wealth management and personal finance, digital currencies … Continue reading

Judicial oversight of execution against property requires full facts before court

Where an order was sought declaring immovable property specially executable but no facts had been placed before the court by the defendant, the court authorised the sale. The court held that to deny an order declaring a property specially executable where the summons clearly draws a debtor’s attention to their right to lead evidence and … Continue reading
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