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Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma has signed into law the Financial Sector Regulation Act 2017.
The legislation – also known as Twin Peaks - was passed by Parliament in June and sent to Zuma for ratification.
It makes provision for a so-called Twin Peaks model of financial regulation. On the one hand, the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) will be responsible for regulating all financial institutions – banks, insurance houses and the asset management sector.
On the other hand, financial conduct will be governed by a new entity, called the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, which will replace the current Financial Services Board (FSB).
The Presidency said in a statement issued on Monday that the Financial Sector Regulation Act aims to achieve a financial system that works in the interests of financial customers, and supports balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa.
The new regulatory and supervisory framework will promote, among other things, financial stability, the fair treatment and protection of financial customers, the efficiency and integrity of the financial system, the prevention of financial crime and transformation in the financial sector.
The legislation also provides for cooperation and collaboration among the National Credit Regulator, the SARB and the Financial Intelligence Centre.
During parliamentary deliberations, opposition parties said they were concerned that the legislation would not ensure adequate protection of consumers who apply for credit, as the National Credit Regulator does not fall under the ambit of the act.
Alf Lees of the Democratic Alliance was also worried about the cost of implementing the new legislation, which he believed will be passed on to consumers.