Discovery appears to have hit a roadblock with competition authorities over the launch of its bank, which could result in the unu-sual situation of FirstRand continuing to hold a 25% share in the bank’s credit card business after its launch. Ever since it first unveiled plans to launch a retail bank in September 2015, Discovery has made it clear that the bank would incorporate its FirstRand-issued credit card. Discovery Bank will probably start by trying to convert its 325,000-odd cardholders into full bank customers. It has rich data on the spending habits of this client base, which exhibits much lower credit losses than the rest of the industry. In 2015, it used R1.3bn of a R5bn rights offer that year to increase its stake in the DiscoveryCard joint venture to 75%. FirstRand still holds 25% of the economic interest. Discovery says the proposed purchase of the card book is subject to competition commission approval. An elusive Adrian Gore said Discovery’s banking licence was issued...

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