SA at risk of being grey-listed by Financial Action Task Force: BASA

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The Banking Association South Africa says the country’s economic conditions have improved post the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is the case, the country is running the risk of being grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FATF is an inter-governmental finance body that monitors signatory countries’ compliance with anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing international best practice regulations.

The Banking Association says the greylisting matter is not just the bank sector’s concern, but the country’s burden to bear. This is because should South Africa be grey-listed it will impact on it doing business and getting foreign investment into the country.

Out of the 11 immediate outcomes of the FATF, banking accounts for just one of them.

The association says it is already working with the arms of government in addressing the shortcomings identified by the task force.

Managing Director of Banking Association South Africa, Bongi Kunene says, “We are already working with national treasury, the financial intelligence centre, and other arms of government addressing the shortcomings that were identified when it comes to banking. We are quite confident that we have taken the measures necessary to improve that immediate outcome.”

SA is at risk of being grey-listed by Financial Action Task Force:

Banks contribute 23% of the country’s GDP. In the previous financial reporting period, banks paid R61 billion to SARS.

On the other hand, the association recently released a report measuring the sector’s employment equity. The association says the sector continues to diversify in different management structures.

Head of Banking Transformation, BASA, Khulekani Mathe says, “Banks continue to make progress in transforming workplace at all levels, in fact, the junior levels and the middle management levels are now in the 70 percent black sort of range which is very encouraging, the numbers drop a bit the higher up you go but even in those categories there is progress in terms of employment equity.”

The Banking Association says banks have reported positive numbers in the previous financial period.

It says banks made a profit of 95-billion-rand last year as the risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic decreased.

In that, banks retained R69 billion to enable capital for lending.