African Banks


The Banking Association South Africa has its genesis in the Council of South African Banks (COSAB). Four separate associations addressing specific areas of activity in the banking sector were merged into COSAB in March 1992. These associations were:

  • The Association of Mortgage Lenders.
  • Merchant Bankers Association.
  • Clearing Bankers Association.
  • Association of General Banks.

COSAB was a committee-driven structure and was deemed to be inappropriate to address the dynamic issues prevalent in the sector. The leadership of the sector decided to establish The Banking Council South Africa in March 1998 under the stewardship of R.S.K. (Bob) Tucker. The Banking Council South Africa was an executive driven body that was structured to address the challenges in the sector.

The Board of The Banking Council South Africa decided on 7 March 2005 to change the name of the body to The Banking Association South Africa because this was a more appropriate description of the structure of the body and its role.

Mr. Cassim (Cas) Coovadia was appointed Managing Director of The Banking Association South Africa.

The Role of The Banking Association South Africa

The Banking Association South Africa is an industry body representing all registered banks in South Africa. These include both South African and international banks. The Main Board of the Association comprises the Chief Executives of the five largest South African banks, two Chief Executives representing international banks and two Chief Executives representing the other South African banks. The Banking Association has also established an Operating Board that meets once a month to provide strategic guidance and direction on the myriad of issues addressed by The Banking Association. The Operating Board is structured similarly to the Main Board, but representation is through the heads of retail of the institutions.

The Banking Association South Africa is the mandated representative of the sector and addresses industry issues through:

  • Lobbying
  • Policy influence
  • Guiding transformation in the sector
  • Acting as a catalyst for constructive and sustainable change in the sector
  • Research and development
  • Engagement with critical stakeholders

The broad role of The Banking Association is to "establish and maintain the best possible platform on which banks can do responsible, competitive and profitable banking". A critical role of The Banking Association is to work with its members to enable this role within the context of the transformation challenges our country is addressing.

The Banking Association South Africa manages numerous committees that advise the executive on issues pertinent to the sector. Such committee areas include:

  • Access to Financial Services
  • Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards
  • Agriculture
  • Banking Sector Regulation
  • Codes of Practice
  • Consumer Protection
  • Direct Tax
  • Housing
  • Indirect Tax
  • Preferential Procurement
  • Small, Medium Enterprise Finance

The South African Reserve Bank is the central bank of the Republic of South Africa. The primary purpose of the Bank is to achieve and maintain price stability in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. Together with other institutions, it also plays a pivotal role in ensuring financial stability.


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The Reserve Bank is the central bank of the Republic of South Africa.  The Bank was established in 1921 in terms of a special Act of Parliament, the Currency and Banking Act, 1920 (Act No. 31 of 1920).  
Prior to the Bank's establishment, commercial banks in South Africa issued banknotes to the public. There was however no uniformity in the legislation providing for the issuance of banknotes by commercial banks. The only requirement was that issuing banks were obliged to convert notes held by the public into gold when banknotes were tendered at their branches.
After the First World War (1914 - 1918), the price of gold in the United Kingdom rose above its price in South Africa and a profit could be made by converting banknotes into gold in South Africa and selling the gold in London. Commercial banks had to buy gold at a higher price in London (for re-import into South Africa to back their banknotes in issue) than the price at which they converted their banknotes into gold. This "obligation to trade at a loss" posed a serious threat to the ability of banks to continue meeting their obligations.
To protect their financial viability, the commercial banks requested the Government to release them from the obligation to convert their banknotes into gold on demand. This led to the Gold Conference of October 1919. Following the recommendations of the Conference, a Select Committee of Parliament recommended the establishment of a central bank to assume, among other responsibilities, responsibility for the issuing of banknotes and for taking over the gold held by commercial banks.
The South African Parliament accepted the recommendation of the Select Committee on the creation of a central bank and promulgated in December 1920 the Currency and Banking Act, which provided for the establishment of the Bank. Effect was given to its various provisions in the course of the next six months and the Reserve Bank opened its doors for business for the first time on 30 June 1921.

Our vision at African Bank is to improve quality of life through affordable, convenient and responsible credit.

At African Bank we believe in you, we also believe that credit should work for you to improve your life and help you to move forward. We say yes more often, because we take everything into consideration when you apply for credit – not just what you earn, but who you are and where you're going.

We also respect you. We want to ensure that credit becomes a relief and a viable solution for you rather than adding to your problems or causing you embarrassment. So you know you will always be given all the necessary information to understand both the benefits and the commitment from your side.

We respect your time. When you walk into one of our branches, you can walk out with credit on the same day. We also know that tailor-made credit can give you the freedom and time to make your credit work harder for you on your terms.

We work as hard as you do. We know you pay your dues every day to earn a living and achieve your goals, we want to work alongside you to help you every step of the way. We can help you to understand, manage and improve your credit standing. African Bank doesn't just want to be your credit provider, we want to partner with you in getting what you want from life – this is the essence of what we offer – Credit that works for you.

Today, African Bank is the market leader in the personal unsecured credit market in South Africa.

African Bank understands you as an individual, believes in you and empowers you to create more with your life. African Bank enables you to achieve your goals and improve your standard of living by giving you access to affordable, responsible & convenient credit that you need when you want and qualify for it.

As the Credit Specialists, even if you don’t qualify we will help you understand, manage and improve your credit standing. As your credit partner, we specialize in giving you individualized credit that works for you.

At African Bank, we give you greater certainty that:

  • You will be treated like an individual with the respect that you deserve
  • Your creditworthiness will be accessed properly and you will receive consistent credit offers
  • We will provide you easy and convenient application options
  • You will have access to credit because we say YES more often,
  • We will provide you simple and transparent credit offers that you can understand
  • Credit offers are tailor made to your unique needs
  • A choice of monthly repayment terms that you can afford
  • You can enjoy greater financial freedom with credit offers that fit your budget and your lifestyle
  • Interest is fixed for the period of your loan so repayments won’t change
  • Immediate credit approvals and same day payouts
  • Immediate access to money with instant issue credit cards
  • Peace of mind for unplanned circumstances with credit life insurance
  • Good repayment behavior is rewarded with large loan sizes and better interest rates for repeat clients, and card status upgrades at reduced interest and fees plus revolving credit facilities through limit increases

African Bank acquired the Ellerines Holding Group. African Bank is the credit provider for Ellerines Holdings Retail Stores. Within the Ellerines family, there is a diversity of stores offering you a range of lifestyle products. Ellerines stores include: Beares, Geen & Richards, Furniture City, Dial a Bed, Wetherlys, Osiers, FurnCity, Lubners, Mattress Factory, Early Bird Services, Savells, Fairdeal, TownTalk and Ellerines.

("the Act")

Company Overview

The Banking Association is the representative voice of banking in South Africa and its members include foreign, retail, merchant, investment and commercial banks. Its role is to "establish and maintain the best possible platform on which banking groups can do competitive, profitable and responsible banking".

Comments and submissions on regulatory changes, legislation, consumer concerns and policy documents, as well as research and study into best international practice, are core strategic activities of The Banking Association.

Part I

(Information required under section 51(1)(a) of the Act)

Name of Body : The Banking Association South Africa
Postal Address : P O Box 61674
Physical Address : 3rd Floor, Building D
Sunnyside Ridge Office Park
32 Princess of Wales Terrace
Telephone : +27 (11) 645 6700
Facsimile : +27 (11) 645 6800
Information Officer/
Company Secretary
: N Lala-Mohan
e-mail address:

Part II

(Information required under section 51(1)(b) of the Act)

A guide on how to use the Act is to be compiled by the Human Rights Commission in terms of Section 10 of the Act by no later than August 2003. Any queries should be directed to:

The South African Human Rights Commission:

PAIA Unit, The Research and Documentation Department

Postal Address : Private Bag 2700
Telephone : +27 (11) 484-8300
Facsimile : +27 (11) 484-0582
Website :
E-mail :

Part III

(Copy of notice, if any, required under section 51(1)(c) of the Act)

A limited supply of the following publications is available:

  • The South African Banking Review � 1999.
  • Code of Banking Practice (Currently under review).

Part IV

(Information required under section 51(1)(d) of the Act)

Records are kept in accordance with such other legislation as is applicable to The Banking Association South Africa, which includes but is not limited to, the following legislation:

  • Companies Act 61 of 1973.
  • Income Tax Act 58 of 1962.
  • Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001.
  • Value Added Tax Act 89 of 1991.
  • Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993.
  • Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995.
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997.
  • Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998.
  • Skills Development Levies Act 9 of 1999.

Part V

(Information required under section 51(1)(e) of the Act)

A: Records That May Be Requested

i. Operational Information

Such information as is required for the day-to-day running of THE BANKING ASSOCIATION South Africa. For instance: internal phone lists; address lists; company policies; directives; contracts; employee records; requisitions; permits; licences; authorisations; approvals; applications; consents and general "house keeping" information.

ii. Communications

Correspondence between persons within and without THE BANKING ASSOCIATION South Africa.

iii. Website

The Banking Association South Africa's Website address is and is accessible to anyone who has access to the Internet. The Website contains various categories of information relating to the company.

iv. Other Sources of Information

The Banking Association South Africa does not have other sources of information.

B: The Request Procedures

i. Form of Request

  • The requester must use the prescribed form to make the request for access to a record. This must be made to the head of the private body. This request must be made to the address, fax number or electronic mail address of the body concerned [s 53(1)].
  • The requester must provide sufficient detail on the request form to enable the head of the private body to identify the record and the requester. The requester should also indicate which form of access is required and specify a postal address or fax number in the Republic. The requester should also indicate if, in addition to a written reply, any other manner is to be used to inform the requester and state the necessary particulars to be so informed [s 53(2)(a) and (b) and (c) and (e)].
  • The requester must identify the right that is sought to be exercised or protected and provide an explanation of why the requested record is required for the exercise or protection of that right [s 53(2)(d)].
  • If a request is made on behalf of another person, the requester must submit proof of the capacity in which the requester is making the request to the satisfaction of the head of the private body [s 53(2)(f)].

ii. Fees

A requester who seeks access to a record containing personal information about that requester is not required to pay the request fee. Every other requester, who is not a personal requester, must pay the required request fee:

  • The head of the private body must by notice require the requester (other than a personal requester) to pay the prescribed request fee (if any) before further processing the request [s 54(1)].
  • The fee that the requester must pay to a private body is R50. The requester may lodge an application to the court against the tender or payment of the request fee [s 54(3)(b)].
  • After the head of the private body has made a decision on the request, the requester must be notified in the required form.
  • If the request is granted then a further access fee must be paid for reproduction and for search and preparation and for any time that has exceeded the prescribed hours to search and prepare the record for disclosure [s 54(6)].

Part VI

(Other information as may be prescribed under section 51(1)(f))

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development has not made any regulations in this regard.

Part VII

(Availability of manual under section 51(3))

This manual is available for inspection by the general public upon request, during office hours and free of charge, at the offices of THE BANKING ASSOCIATION South Africa. Copies may also be requested from the South African Human Rights Commission and the Government Gazette. The manual is also published on THE BANKING ASSOCIATION South Africa�s website referred to above.


(Prescribed forms and fee structure in respect of private bodies)

The forms and fee structure prescribed under the Act are available at the website of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (, under the "regulations" section.