A publication in the Government Gazette, on 21 August 2015, contains a summary of this important piece of legislation which will soon be tabled in the National Assembly. It is essentially, the blueprint for the establishment of the “Twin Peaks” approach to regulation of the financial services industry.
The objectives of the Bill are given as:
- Conferring on the Reserve Bank the mandate to protect and enhance financial stability, and if a systemic event has adversely affected financial stability, to restore and maintain financial stability;
- Establishing the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Prudential Authority to supervise and regulate the provision of financial products and financial services;
- Ensuring co-operation, collaboration, co-ordination and consistency between the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the Prudential Authority, the National Credit Regulator, the Reserve Bank and other organs of the state;
- Protecting the interests of customers acquiring or using financial products and financial services by ensuring that financial institutions treats customers fairly and providing financial customers with financial education programs;
- Providing for the regulation of significant owners of financial institutions and creating a framework for the supervision of financial conglomerates;
- Ensuring a consistent and standardised approach to financial regulation, by establishing harmonised systems of licensing, supervision, complaints resolution, enforcement and review mechanisms;
- Providing for procedural matters such as information sharing arrangements, information gathering and for supervisory on-site inspections and investigations into the affairs of a financial institution;
- Providing financial sector regulators with enforcement powers, establishing the Financial Services Tribunal to hear reviews of decisions made in terms of the financial sector laws, and for the imposition of administrative penalties and related orders;
- Establishing the Financial Sector Ombud Schemes Regulatory Council to provide for the regulation of ombud schemes.
A copy of the Bill will be available on the National Treasury website after the introduction of the Bill in Parliament.