The South African Post Office (Sapo) has submitted documents to Parliament indicating that it will apply to formalise its position as a fully-fledged bank by the middle of the year.
According to Reuters, Sapo said it woul submit an application to register its financial services unit, Postbank, as a bank by July 3rd, 2017.
In July 2016, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) gave Postbank the green light to pursue its banking goals by approving its application for a banking licence.
Subsequent steps in the process involve the approval of the Postbank board nominees, the registration of the bank as a company and the transfer of business from Sapo to the new company.
Speaking on the bank’s licence approval last year, minister of telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele said that the bank would not compete with South Africa’s other commercial banks, and will instead focus on pushing government’s development programmes.
As a bank, it is expected to tap post office retail outlets across the country, turning them into branches. The Postbank is also set to become a subsidiary of Sapo but with its own governing structure.
Postbank has R1.4 billion rand in excess capital, which is enough to meet regulatory minimum requirements for a bank, Reuters reported.
To date, Postbank has served primarily as a deposit bank (savings bank), but legislation passed in 2010 allowed for the bank to offer transactional facilities.