Hilary Joffe Columnist

Anyone doing the rounds of banks’ financial results presentations in recent weeks might have been startled to hear the failed VBS Mutual Bank described at the weekend as one of SA’s only black-managed and black-owned banks. SA’s big banks still have a way to go regarding transformation at top management level, but their complexions are rapidly changing and that was clear from the executive committee panels up front at the various results presentations. Standard Bank’s Sim Tshabalala and Investec’s newly appointed joint CEO, Fani Titi, may be the only black CEOs of the big five banks at present, but the number of black C-suite executives is increasing at all five. And with their trillion-rand-plus balance sheets, Tshabalala and Titi arguably have immeasurably more power to affect SA’s economy and its banking sector than did the CEO of black-owned VBS with his R2bn balance sheet, suggesting that black ownership in itself isn’t necessarily a recipe for transformation. But the latest ro...

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