Discovery gets bank licence approval

Cape Town – The Registrar of Banks has granted Discovery [JSE:DSY] a banking licence, the JSE-listed company said in a statement on Monday.

This follows the decision by the Registrar of Banks in October 2016 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.”

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