The Financial Sector Charter Council is pleased to announce the gazetting of the Financial Sector Code.
The Council wishes to thank the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, for their support in finalising and gazetting the FS Code.
The FS Code aligns the Financial Sector Charter, the voluntary financial sector transformation charter agreed in 2004 by the financial sector, government, trade unions, community organisations and black professional bodies, to the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act Generic Codes of Good Practice. The FS Code is the binding legal framework against which the empowerment progress of the financial sector will be measured in future.
It creates financial sector specific commitments over and above the obligations contained in the Generic Codes. These include increasing access to financial services and making available empowerment financing. Through the access to financial services element, the sector will enhance the accessibility of banking, long term insurance and short term insurance products via various mechanisms designed to ensure that more lower income consumers are included in the financial system. These requirements are supported by specific commitments to fund consumer financial literacy projects, which are applicable to all measured financial sector entities.
In terms of the FS Code, the financial sector will provide R122 billion to finance transformational infrastructure, affordable housing, black small, medium and micro enterprises, black farmers and B-BBEE transactions in all sectors of the economy.
The effective date for the implementation of the FS Code is 01 January 2012. However, in line with the Department of Trade and Industry transitional arrangements for sector codes, financial institutions which had applied or signed verification agreements prior to the end of 2012 will be measured on the basis on which their application was made. Institutions that applied or signed verification agreements after the end of 2012 will be measured on the basis of the FS Code.
Reporting institutions are requested to liaise with their respective trade associations for more details on the FS Code reporting process. Those financial institutions or financial sector trade associations which do not currently have representation in the Council should contact the Council offices for details of their reporting obligations and procedures.