SA’s banks remain healthy. How to manage risk (so as to keep them that way)

What steps should South African banks take to better manage social and environmental risks?

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Country Manager for Southern Africa Saleem Karimjee.

Karimjee discussed the following five points:

Greater awareness and understanding is needed of the risks and impact of social and environmental factors.

  • The South African banking market is hugely capable, but banks could do a lot more to mitigate environmental and social risks (not so much in themselves but in the clients that they support).

  • Wednesday’s meeting by the Sarb, FSB and National Treasury is an important step in this process.

Skills development and capacity building is critical.

  • Banks need to build skills and capacity internally.

  • Banks need to add a layer of diligence to their relationship with their clients.

Regulation is important, but overregulation should be avoided.

Standards exist to make this a reality.

  • IFC already has the performance standards in place.

Although South Africa has a sophisticated banking sector, it can learn lessons from other countries.

  • Nigeria and Kenya are already leading in risk mitigation.

For more detail; listen to the interview in the audio below.

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