South African insurance company, Discovery said it has secured banking license which will enable it operate in the financial industry. This follows the decision by the Registrar of Banks in October last year to give Discovery authorisation to establish a banking presence in South Africa.
The Registrar of Banks forms part of the SA Reserve Bank and is headed by Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Kuben Naidoo.
“The grant of the banking licence is subject to specific regulatory conditions, including conditions relating to the proposed shareholding in the bank and Competition Commission approval,” Discovery said in a statement.
“In addition, certain other regulatory approvals are still required to complete the transactions proposed.
“Discovery awaits the Competition Commission’s final response and is in the process of assessing the implications of the conditions.”
The latest development follows Discovery CEO Adrian Gore’s pledge that its banking unit is on track to be up and running by the middle of 2018.
“We have confidence in our shared value model. It forms part of the evolution of our Discovery Card. We have built a quality client base and a great team. We feel there are potential opportunities in banking to add value for our customers,” said Gore in September.
In Discovery’s 2016 annual report, Gore said “progress was made with respect to Discovery’s intention to enter banking.
“Discovery has attracted a combination of senior seasoned bankers. With Discovery executives, they will lead the execution and delivery of the banking business.
“It is in the process of finalising operating processes, including system selection. Insights are being developed that will be utilised in the design of our final product offering.”
Discovery Limited is a South Africa-based financial services group that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with its headquarters in Sandton. Discovery Limited engages in long and short-term insurance, asset management, savings, investment and employee benefits through its various brands. The Group has subsidiaries in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore, and Australia.