Legal Services

Legal Services is an enabling and cross-cutting function that impacts the delivery of our core purpose and all its strategic projects.

BankservAfrica is a regulated entity that is regarded as a critical national infrastructure and a systemically important payments financial markets infrastructure. Therefore, the interplay between BankservAfrica’s core purpose and regulatory adherence, in an industry subject to high levels of regulatory supervision, makes the legal function an important enabler.

Legal Services ensures that day-to-day operations are appropriately supported from a legal perspective, interprets regulation and strategically guides the business on current and upcoming legislation.

Legal Services is expected to steer or influence the formulation of new legislation and regulation impacting the business, where possible.

Highlights

  • We established the Legal Services function and clarified its role in delivering the group strategy.

Challenges

  • Legacy issues stifle change management within the BankservAfrica group.
  • Uncertain regulatory landscape, arbitrage, and volatility in the jurisdictions beyond South Africa continue to create challenging market conditions.
  • A revised PASA oversight model and the implications thereof.

Looking forward

South Africa has seen an increased focus by regulators on enhanced and stricter supervisory control over the entire financial services sector. This has resulted in the introduction of a new Financial Sector Regulation Act in 2017, the review of the PASA oversight and governance model, the introduction of authenticated collections, payments modernisation initiatives, and discussions on a revised NPS Act.

All these current and forthcoming legislative changes impact our operations from a legal compliance and systems perspective.

This requires the group to be proactive and responsive, developing and employing a legal and regulatory strategy to determine how the business positions itself against new legislation and oversight changes. This helps us determine where we should align, what we need to do to ensure compliance and how we can influence outcomes in the best interest of the business and the broader national payments system.

Legal Services plays a role in shaping the future of the NPS design from a legislative and regulatory perspective. We are participants in the NPS Act Review, PASA review process and PASA legal committee. We continue to forge relationships with our stakeholders within the payments space. The function also supports Regional Engagement teams with in-country legal knowledge, updates and advisory services.

A priority is to position BankservAfrica as a market leader in payments and transactions, particularly in Africa. The function is on track to deliver on its multiple strategic initiatives, as it strives to achieve its goal of becoming a world-class and enabling legal department with a trusted business advisor status.