South African Finance Ministry calls for improved banking access

Aug 31, 2012

More needs to be done to ensure South African citizens have access to a full range of banking services, the National Treasury has argued.

More needs to be done to ensure South African citizens have access to a full range of banking services, the National Treasury has argued. Following a meeting between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Chief Executives of the country's major banks, the Treasury noted while progress has been made in the area, further improvements are needed. According to SouthAfrica.info, the Treasury said in a statement that particular attention needs to be paid to the country's less affluent demographics. "The services offered to middle- and low-income South Africans must be guided by simplicity, comparability, transparency, accessibility and competitive costs," it remarked. Some poor households are at risk of being left with uncontrollable debts due to the increase in unsecured lending in the country, Mr Gordhan and bank representatives agreed and the Treasury noted banks need to "do more to ensure that they lend responsibly". However, it was noted at the meeting that some of the finance is being sourced from other financial institutions such as retailers.