The Banking Association South Africa (BASA) Transformation in Banking Report 2020 reflects the progress made by banks in transforming the industry and increasing economic inclusiveness and empowerment, despite constrained economic conditions.
Significant progress was made on key metrics that track the transformation of the industry and its support for Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment in 2019. These include:
- The percentage of board directors who are black reached 44% in 2019.
- 65% of all middle managers are black. For first time there are more African than white middle managers. Bank spending on black and women skills development is paying off.
- Supplier and enterprise development financing have seen healthy increases, with supplier development spending up 38% to R1,1 billion.
- Spending on black consumer education – particularly important for financial inclusion and literacy – climbed 18% from the year before to R212 million in 2019.
- However, total empowerment financing dropped 19,5% to R203,7 billion in 2019.
- Bank exposure to BEE deals dropped 35% from the previous year to R107 billion in 2019.
- Bank black ownership measures have declined over four years, as black shareholders realise value by selling shares and diversify their investments away from banks. However, on aggregate black ownership remains above the Financial Sector Code (FSC) target of 25%.
- Bank spending on socio-economic development dropped by eight percent to R621 million. Economic distress limits banks’ profit growth, which curbs the amount allocated to socio- economic development support, which is based on net profit after tax. The financial services industry paid 36% of all corporate tax (R122 billion) in 2019.
These industry figures were achieved despite the difficult economic and business conditions that South African banks and companies have had to endure over the past four years. This has made it more challenging to fast-track the achievement of the FSC goals, which depends on growth in targeted lending and employment opportunities.
Banks know that there is much more that needs to be done before the industry and the South African economy better reflects the demographics of the country. However, at all times banks are very aware that they hold in trust the salaries, savings, and investments of South African workers, professionals and companies, and that they have a responsibility to protect their depositors’ funds and the stability of the financial sector, on which all South Africans depend. The transformation of the banking industry must be done in a sustainable manner that allows it to continue providing appropriate financial services and support for inclusive economic growth.
The Transformation in Banking Report is an attempt to provide hard data on the state of transformation in banking. It is only on the basis of facts and evidence that sustainable transformation and economic empowerment policies can be developed and successfully implemented.
The report was produced by independent research company, Intellidex, with statistics provided by banks. As an industry association, BASA reports on overall figures and not the performance of individual banks.