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Following the gazetting of the new amended Financial Sector Code late last year, the sector's old charter council renamed itself the Financial Sector Transformation Council last week, giving us an opportunity to interact with the new BEE rules for banks and insurers, all aimed at accelerating transformation in the most critical sector of our economy. The likes of the Banking Association of SA and the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals have recognised the powerful leverage the financial services industry carries in driving the type and pace of transformation South Africans want to see. Many elements, though not new, have been sharpened for a more targeted impact. For example, two unique elements exist in the Financial Sector Code that are not in the generic codes: empowerment financing and access to financial services. The concept of finding ways to "bank the unbanked" is not new. The sector has in the past tried to address this by launching all sorts of pro...

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