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NCOP approves bills to tighten bank, insurance controls

30th May 2003

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The National Council of Provinces approved a clutch of finance-related bills on Thursday, including draft legislation to tighten regulations in the banking and insurance sectors.

The Banks Amendment Bill seeks to protect depositors from reckless and negligent management, and to ensure banking executives act with "skill and care".

The measure comes in the wake of recent bank failures, and draws significantly on the report of the commission that investigated irregularities at Regal Treasury Bank.

It aims to empower the Registrar of Banks to object to the appointment of a director, chief executive or executive officer, and to take action against them, if they do not act in the best interests of the bank.

The bill allows for regulations to be drawn up for the rotation of external auditors at banks.

The Insurance Amendment Bill seeks to update and consolidate insurance laws, and will effectively tighten the industry's capital adequacy criteria.

It aims to improve the prudential soundness of insurance companies, strengthen adherence to corporate governance, and help to protect and educate policyholders.

The NCOP also passed two bills that, when promulgated, will repeal the last remnants of Bophuthatswana's welfare system.

The Bophuthatswana National Provident Fund Act Repeal Bill seeks to convert the fund into the privately administered Bosele National Provident Fund, while the Sefalana Employee Benefits Organisation Act Repeal Bill aims to shut down that organisation. – Sapa.
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