History of the Banking Association South Africa

The genesis of The Banking Association South Africa was the Council of South African Banks (COSAB). In March 1992, four separate associations addressing specific areas of activity in the banking sector were merged to form COSAB. 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, while relevant and effective at that time, proved to be ineffective as an industry body as the industry evolved in the context of a democratic dispensation. In March 1998, under the stewardship of R.S.K. (Bob) Tucker, the leadership of the banking sector decided to establish The Banking Council South Africa. The Banking Council of South Africa was an executive driven body that was structured to address the challenges in the banking sector.

In March 2005, The Board of The Banking Council of South Africa decided to change the name of the body to The Banking Association South Africa as this was a more appropriate description of its representative role. 

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

Historical Timeline

  • 1992: Council of South African Banks (COSAB)
    • Association of Mortgage Lenders
    • Merchant Bankers Association
    • Clearing Bankers Association
    • Association of General Banks
  • October 1994: Critical player and signatory in the development of the National Housing Accord under the leadership of Minister Slovo.
  • 1995: Record of Understanding, which marked beginning of bank finance, at scale, of affordable housing.
  • 1995: After signing of Accord partnered government in the establishment of Servcon, to manage mortgage holders in default in the low-income market.
  • March 1998: Bob Tucker appointed CEO and the Banking Council of South Africa (the Banking Council) established as an executive-driven organisation.
  • 1998: Established the SADC Banking Association (SADCBA), and continue to be the Secretariat.
  • 1998: Finalisation of the new Code for Banking Practice, used by the Ombuds to oversee bank interaction with customers, under new independent Ombuds structure.
  • May 2000: Established the office of the Banking Ombuds, as an independent voluntary Ombuds, chaired by Advocate John Myburgh. Prior to this, Charl Cilliers was an Ombuds from 1997, appointed by the Banking Council.
  • 2002: partnered with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to implement Public Private Partnership (PPP) Capacity Building Project in 6 SADC countries.
  • 2002: Established the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), as a separate company to deal with initiatives to combat bank-related crime. This activity was initially undertaken by a department within the Banking Council.
  • March 2002: Instrumental in establishment of FinMark Trust, as a separate and independent entity. This initiative was previously located within the Banking Council as a partnership with DFID (UK).
  • August 2002: Volunteered Financial Sector Charter at the end of the NEDLAC Financial Sector Summit. The Charter was implemented from 2003-2008 as voluntary reporting instrument and gazetted as a Sector Code on 26 November 2012.
  • 7 March 2005: The Banking Council of South Africa (the Banking Council) name changed to The Banking Association South Africa (The Banking Association). Cas Coovadia was appointed Managing Director.
  • 2006: Developed on-line PPP training programme, accredited by Institute of Public Private Partnerships inc. – the programme is still running in the UK.
  • March 2007: Facilitated and signed Code of Conduct on Credit Extension, now incorporated into Code for Banking Practice.
  • 10th November 2008: SADCBA awarded “PPP Champion of the Year” by African Infrastructure.
  • 1 January 2008: Implementation of BASEL II. The Banking Association worked extensively with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to enable the regulatory process to achieve this.
  • April 2008: Prime mover behind the establishment of the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA), to provide debt mediation services in terms of  the Credit Industry Code of Conduct to Combat Over-Indebtedness.
  • 2008: Launched Teach Children to Save SA™ (TCTSA™) initiative in partnership with the American Banker’s Association, Citi and Operation Hope. The initiative completed its 7th year in 2014 and has reached over 1000 000 learners in over 3000 schools. The initiative has also been adopted by SADCBA.
  • 2008: Appeared before the Jali Commission, with a good outcome for efficiency and competitiveness of industry.
  • January 2009: First sector to sign an Accord with South African Revenue Services (SARS) to manage the relationship between the banking sector and SARS and ensure ethical tax practice and efficient servicing by SARS.
  • October 2009: Hosted, with United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the  Sustainable Finance Initiative Global Roundtable in Cape Town. First time hosted on African continent.
  • March 2010: Agreed Code for Social and Environmental Risk Management to guide bank practice.
  • 1 January 2011: Signed Credit Industry Code to Combat Over-Indebtedness to guide conduct in credit extension.
  • 16 April 2012: Launched first edition of Banker SA magazine. Now in its fourteenth edition.
  • September 2012: Hosted Inaugural Financial Inclusion Indaba.
  • October 2012: Signed agreement with National Treasury to address inefficiencies and bad practice in unsecured credit environment.
  • May 2013: Piloted the development and implementation of integrated payments and settlements system for SADC, under the auspices of the SADC CCBG.


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