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Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003 (Act No. 53 of 2003)

Industry Charters

Financial Sector Charter on Black Economic Empowerment

8. Access to financial services


8.1 The financial sector acknowledges that access to first-order retail financial services is fundamental to BEE and to the development of the economy as a whole.


8.2 In terms of the Declaration of the Financial Sector Summit on 20th August 2002, it was agreed that strategies would be put in place to ensure that the financial sector is more efficient in the delivery of financial services, which enhance the accumulation of savings and direct them to development initiatives. Insofar as it relates to access to financial services, specific actions were agreed in relation to:
ensuring the provision of first-order retail financial services including:
sustainable and affordable banking services;
contractual savings schemes; and
credit for small and micro enterprise and poor households.
the development of sustainable institutions to serve poor communities;
the regulation of Credit Bureaux;
supporting higher levels of savings and investment overall.


8.3 In respect of this charter, the financial sector commits itself to substantially increase effective access to first-order retail financial services to a greater segment of the population, within LSM 1-5. The financial sector specifically undertakes:
8.3.1 by 2008 to make available appropriate first-order retail financial services, affordably priced and through appropriate and accessible physical and electronic infrastructure such that:
80% of LSM 1-5 have effective access to transaction products and services (defined in paragraph 2.27.1);
80% of LSM 1-5 have effective access to bank savings products and services (defined in paragraph 2.27.2);
a percentage (to be settled with the life assurance industry) of LSM 1-5 households have effective access to life assurance industry products and services (defined in paragraphs 2.27.2 and 2.27.4);
1% of LSM 1-5 plus 250,000 have effective access to formal collective investment savings products and services (defined in paragraph 2.27.2); and
6% of LSM 1-5 have effective access to short term risk insurance products and services (defined in paragraph 2.27.4).
8.3.2 in accordance with the arrangements concluded with Government and the DFls in terms of paragraph 9.1.3, to originate the low-income housing loans, agricultural development loans, and loans to black SMEs, necessary to achieve the desired breakdown of targeted investment established in terms of paragraph 9.1.3. For the purposes of determining the value of loans originated in terms of this paragraph, any loan which falls within the definition of a first-order retail financial service or product as set out in paragraph 2.27.3 will be taken into account.
8.3.3 Each sub-sector will determine, in consultation with the Charter Council how the sub-sector targets will be divided between the individual financial institutions in the sub-sector.


8.4 Each financial institution commits, from the effective date of the charter to 2008, to annually invest a minimum of 0.2% of post tax operating profits in consumer education. Consumer education will include programmes that are aimed at empowering consumers with knowledge to enable them to make more informed decisions about their finances and lifestyles.


8.5 The financial sector furthermore commits to:
the elimination of discrimination in the provision of financial services;
supporting the establishment of third tier community based financial organisations or alternative financial institutions.


8.6 By 2005, the financial sector, together with Government, undertakes to establish standards to monitor access and to design a mechanism for the ongoing evaluation and review of the impact of its initiatives on access.