Discovery on its way to establishing own bank

The Registrar of Banks this week gave Discovery permission to establish a banking presence in the country, so helping the entity take its first steps to starting its own bank in South Africa.

Authorisation was given in terms of Section 13(1) of the Banks Act 94 of 1990, subject to certain conditions, which Discovery has 12 months to fulfil before obtaining final approval in terms of Section 17 of the Banks Act.

Talking to Bloomberg, Adrian Gore (pictured), Discovery CEO and co-founder, said:

"We're flat out with the infrastructure and the regulatory process for banking. We've got the capital, we've hired bankers, we're building substantial systems. We want to make an offering that's relevant and can win market share."

While Gore believes banking may help the company to boost future earnings, breaking into the market may not be the easiest thing to do, as Discovery will come up against five banks that already control close on 90% of the country's banking assets, while a further 16 other companies and 15 local branches of international banks also offer a variety of banking services.