The Financial Sector Code (FSC) for Black Economic Empowerment was launched in Johannesburg this morning by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, and Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gazetted the FSC in December last year under section 9(1) of the BEE Act.
The Code is the product of extensive consultation and carries the endorsement of the Labour and Community constituencies of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), Business as represented by the financial sector trade associations (ASISA, BASA, SAIA and IBA*), Government as represented by the Department of Trade and Industry, National Treasury and the Presidency, as well as the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP). All the constituents involved in negotiating the Code must be commended for their determination to create something that is unique to the financial sector and that will ultimately benefit all stakeholders.
The Code provides the financial sector, which is the country’s biggest contributor to the national GDP, with a clear roadmap on how to build on existing achievements in black economic empowerment to the benefit of all stakeholders. The Code is also the framework against which the empowerment progress of the financial sector is measured.
The Code is unique in that it includes the Empowerment Financing and Access to Financial Services provisions from the old Financial Sector Charter in the scorecard, but with increased targets, in addition to the seven standard elements that form part of the generic Department of Trade and Industry Codes.
The aim of including the Empowerment Financing and Access to Financial Services elements in the scorecard is to advance the transformation process at a faster pace, across the broader economy.
The Code is a commitment by the financial sector to contribute to the development of the country through the financing of infrastructure, low cost housing, small business, and agriculture as well as ensuring greater access to financial services. Furthermore the financial sector is required by the Code to finance transactions that ensure greater empowerment."
** Note to editors: The Financial Sector Transformation Council Board consists of representatives from organised labour, community, government (Department of Trade and Industry, National Treasury and the Presidency), the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP), and the financial sector trade associations, namely the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA), the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) and the International Banking Association (IBA). The JSE is also represented through ASISA.