South Africa has a world-class financial sector that can be further enhanced to benefit a wide range of stakeholders in the economy. The sector has shown growth over the years, however this growth has not been shared equitably by all. It has also undergone difficulties from time to time, but has remained resilient and responsive to challenges faced by the economy. The banking sector, in particular, has evolved with each crisis it has faced since 1982, each of which was followed by consolidation. It is important that the successes produced by the sector be preserved and promoted, and failures pointed out and corrected.

ABSIP believes that while transformation of the sector has been slow, some progress has been recorded and much more can and must still be done, and at a faster pace. Legislative and regulatory support are key to advancing transformation, as is a collaborative, supportive and inclusive effort by both large established and small emerging players.

Transformation, which must be both quantitative and qualitative, must be mass-based and ought to be characterised by mass access to financial services and opportunities, instead of narrow capital interests.

Now is the time to up the stakes on transformation and ABSIP believes that its submission will contribute to a turning point in the landscape of the sector. The sections that follow deal with market structure, deracialisation and progress in implementing the financial sector charter.

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