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SAIA welcomes the release of the Financial Sector Code

16 July 2013 SAIA

The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) today welcomed the release of the Financial Sector Code for Black Economic Empowerment, which was launched in Johannesburg this morning by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, and Minister of Fi

Speaking at the launch, the Chairman of the SAIA, Mr Ronnie Napier, said that the SAIA had been a willing participant since the concept of a financial sector charter was first mooted as long ago as 2002. We have been members of the Board of the Financial Sector Charter Council since its inception, and provided the first Chairman for the Board.

Napier also stated that as a contribution to the implementation of the former Financial Sector Charter (now Code), the SAIA had embarked on a successful consumer education programme, which was delivering basic financial literacy education to the poor. The programme has achieved recognition worldwide by institutions such as the International Labour Organisation. To the best of its knowledge, the SAIA is the only insurance industry trade association which collects funds from its members for the purpose of basic financial literacy education. To date, the SAIA and its partners have spent R60 million on projects in this area.

The Code provides the financial sector, which is the country’s biggest contributor to the national GDP, with a clear roadmap on how to build on existing achievements in black economic empowerment to the benefit of all stakeholders. The Code is also the framework against which the empowerment progress of the financial sector is measured. The Code is applicable to all financial services institutions. For the insurance sector this includes insurance companies, intermediaries, and underwriting managers. The Code is the outcome of an alignment process between the original Financial Sector Charter and the Department of Trade and Industry generic codes. The Code is supported by trade associations representing the financial sector, organised labour, community, government (the Presidency, the Department of Trade and Industry, and National Treasury), and the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP).

Napier concluded by saying that the SAIA Board, as the representative body for the short-term insurance companies, fully supported the principles enshrined in the Financial Sector Code, and was committed to its successful adoption by the industry. He urged all companies active in the sector to embrace the Code, not only as a compliance issue, but also to embrace the spirit of the Code.

The SAIA is the representative body of the short-term insurance industry. It has 58 members who abide by the SAIA Code of Conduct. The Association represents the industry at all levels and with all stakeholders, to ensure a sustainable and dynamic short-term insurance industry for the benefit of the South African economy and society.

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