Discovery gets its banking licence

Discovery has announced that it has been granted its banking licence – a major step to the group launching its retail bank in 2018.

On Monday, Discovery announced that NewDisc Limited (to be renamed Discovery Bank Limited) has been granted a banking licence in South Africa by the Registrar in terms of Section 17(1) of the Banks Act.

The company was given authorisation from the Registrar of Banks to establish a banking presence in South Africa in October 2016 – a year later, it has received its licence.

The grant of the banking licence is subject to specific regulatory conditions, including conditions relating to the proposed shareholding in the Bank and Competition Commission approval, it said.

In addition certain other regulatory approvals are still required to complete the transactions proposed.

“Discovery awaits the Competition Commission’s final response and is in the process of assessing the implications of the conditions. Shareholders will be informed of further developments and progress in the development of Discovery Bank Limited when appropriate,” it said.

Discovery anticipates launching its banking offering during 2018, with CEO Adrian Gore saying the group is targeting the affluent market, with a full service offering.

“We’re flat out with the infrastructure and the regulatory process for banking,” Gore said. “We’ve got the capital, we’ve hired bankers, we’re building substantial systems. We want to make an offering that’s relevant and can win market share.”

“We’re looking at the modern and traditional structures that people need. We’ve got a good embedded base with Discovery Card. We’re comfortable that we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.

Read: Discovery talks up bank opening in 2018

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Discovery gets its banking licence