BankservAfrica is committed to the standards of good corporate governance and mindful compliance, as is envisaged by the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa, 2016 (King IV). The board applies the sentiment that the King Code recommends to achieve the four cornerstones of good governance: fairness, transparency, responsibility and accountability.
The board has an overarching corporate approval framework to provide certainty and any limitations on the authority and powers within the BankservAfrica Group. This includes a summary of the powers and authorities of the shareholders, the board, the delegation of authorities and the authorities of its committees and the executive.
We believe that good governance adds value to the business by enhancing transparency and accountability, ensuring effective leadership and decision-making.
Governance is also concerned with sustainable development. We actively promote and support corporate social investment initiatives to ensure we remain a responsible corporate citizen.
- Our new company strategy was approved, with a two-year horizon focused on delivering excellence in the national payments infrastructure. Our five-year horizon goal expands this focus to deliver excellence in the regional digital financial infrastructure.
- The board appointed new independent auditors, Deloitte & Touche.
- Ensuring a greater focus on alignment to industry standards is ongoing.
The governance support service will be aiming for 100% policy alignment and compliance.
We will roll out our board evaluation programme and will use the feedback to improve governance practices and processes. We will also continue to create more awareness of the importance of good governance in the organisation.
We recognise that sound risk management increases our customers’ confidence in us as a trusted partner. As such we are committed to managing risks through the continual improvement and implementation of best-practice risk management policies and frameworks relating to enterprise risk management and business continuity management.
The board and its subcommittees oversee the implementation of risk management and monitor its performance. The committees review development and maintenance of the external and internal controls that are in place to ensure that identified risks are effectively managed. Our enterprise risk management and business continuity management frameworks deal with risk philosophy, methodology, strategies and processes. These frameworks are reviewed annually by these committees. The committees satisfy themselves that the nature, intent and effectiveness of the risk control infrastructure within BankservAfrica are adequate and effective.
- We streamlined policies, processes and structure to focus on our core businesses and reassess risk for non-core operations.
- The implementation of the business continuity work plan progressed with facilitated training and simulated emergency scenarios conducted.
- Risk reporting was streamlined across all operations with the development of key risk indicators, increasing the understanding of the risks the business faces.
- Enhancing the understanding of risk and embedding a risk culture ethos across the group.
- A shortage of appropriate talent and skills exacerbates human capital mapping.
In collaboration with the Corporate Integrity function, the risk committee will take on a more proactive role in risk management. We will continue to address the risks that are outside of the BankservAfrica risk tolerance level as a matter of priority. We will also attempt to reduce risk within the tolerance level or appetite. We will align business continuity management and disaster recovery practices following IT refresh.
Our compliance function ensures that the organisation implements an effective compliance and robust policy framework. BankservAfrica complies with applicable laws and binding regulations. We comply with South African company law and with those laws and regulations laid out specifically by PASA and the SARB. The compliance function considers adherence to:
- non-binding rules;
- standards and codes according to the shareholder mandate;
- constraints set out in the memorandum of incorporation (MOI); and
- together with its obligation to all stakeholders as set out in the prevailing regulatory, legislative and King IV requirements.
- We once again attained authorisation as a payment clearing-house system operator.
- The annual reviews on the company’s MOI were completed.
- We submitted our annual employment equity report to the Department of Labour.
- Moving towards an integrated and collaborative approach between teams while ensuring a compliance culture is instilled and ongoing.
- Data centralisation remains a challenge.
- Increased awareness is needed around our compliance methodology to ensure the purpose and approach is understood and not viewed as inflexible.
We are implementing a roadmap to apply the King IV compliance framework. Compliance continues to ensure that products, services and new business ventures are aligned to relevant legislation and regulations from the development stage onwards.
We will ensure that BankservAfrica leads an effective programme that strives to embed compliance within the company’s DNA to create value for the business.
Broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE)
We support the objectives of BBBEE to stimulate the participation of previously disadvantaged groups in the economy to increased economic growth. Executives and their respective line managers are responsible for implementing transformation imperatives with measurable scorecards within each business unit.
- We implemented our strategic black economic empowerment roadmap.
- We obtained a level 2 BBBEE score.
- Transformation is a long-term business imperative, but targets are often short term, which can be challenging.
We have set group-wide BBBEE targets, and frameworks and policies were aligned to these targets. We follow the Financial Sector Charter targets, which are not formally approved yet. We also follow the recent Department of Trade and Industry changes to the generic codes, with targets set for each element.
Broad-based black economic empowerment scorecard
As South Africa continues on its journey to inclusivity and diversity in the workplace, BankservAfrica is committed to driving change in the payments infrastructure industry.
We are committed to being a trusted partner in the National Payments System. This requires that we have an ethical foundation to all dealings with stakeholders. Our formalised ethics management programme and our code of ethics are in line with the requirements of King IV and offer the business a clear framework under which to operate.
Our ethics officer reports to and works with our CEO, the ethics steering committee and the social and ethics board sub-committee to ensure the business operates according to the highest ethical standards, protecting our reputation as a trusted partner.
- We launched the ethics steering committee, which assists in ensuring that the company conducts its business within the ethical standards for acceptable behaviour.
- A lack of confidence from employees in the ethics hotline
We are committed to embedding an ethical culture throughout the organisation. Our new values will be rolled out in the 2018 financial year and to enhance the effectiveness of our ethics hotlines, training will be conducted in 2018. We will also continue to work with industry bodies, such as the Ethics Institute, to ensure we remain abreast of industry best practices.
Occupational health and safety (OHS)
The OHS function is concerned with raising awareness to reduce potential workplace injuries. We have an OHS policy in place and conduct awareness and training to protect our employees.
- Two planned evacuations and the first shelter-in-place drill was conducted.
- Our annual baseline risk assessment was completed.
- Our challenge is to communicate the value that OHS delivers to combat compliance-based perceptions.
During the year, 12 incidents occurred, resulting in 19 working days lost.
We are working on minimising hazards and OHS risks within the workplace, crafting an effective ergonomics plan, and improving OHS practices.