Specialist Fields

Banking & Finance Law

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We assist businesses in all areas of Banking & Finance Law

Banking & Finance Law is the law pertaining to banking and other finance-related transactions. It covers a wide range of transactions in the banking & finance sector and includes private equity investments, corporate finance, preference share funding and lending transactions such as leveraged finance, debt structuring and cross-border finance.

Our experienced Banking & Finance specialists assist with drafting and negotiating related finance agreements including security documents, and are able to advise on exchange control issues and legislation relevant to lending transactions.

Lending is an important part of economic activity, and I enjoy assisting banks and other lenders as well as borrowers to ensure that they get the most out of the opportunities that it presents.

- Karin Krisch, Caveat Panel Member

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Banking & FINANCE Regulations

Banks in South Africa are regulated under the Banks Act, 1990 and its regulations. Other relevant legislation includes the Mutual Banks Act, 1993 and the South African Reserve Bank Act, 1989. References in the Banks Act to the Registrar of Banks have been replaced with the Prudential Authority established under the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017 (FSRA). The Prudential Authority, together with the South African Reserve Bank, oversees the operation of local banks in South Africa, as well as the branches and representative offices of foreign banks.

Banks are also required to comply with financial sector legislation such as the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS) and the National Credit Act, 2005 (NCA), as applicable.

Finance Law & Regulations

The Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (FICA), sets out requirements for banks and accountable institutions regarding Know-Your-Customer (KYC) checks. The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS) regulates the provision of a variety of financial and intermediary services. 

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), established under the FSRA, is the dedicated market conduct regulator for the industry and replaced the previous Financial Services Board.

In addition, the National Credit Regulator, established under the National Credit Act, 2005 regulates the provision of credit to borrowers in South Africa, with the aim of promoting the development of an accessible credit market.

Banks and financial institutions are also subject to the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPIA) with regard to data protection and the processing of personal information.

Legal Advice for Banking & Finance Law

We are able to advise on a wide range of financing transactions including secured and unsecured lending, capital markets issuances, trade finance, consumer credit, acquisition finance and syndicated lending. We also advise on compliance with banking and financial sector legislation.


Frequently asked questions on Banking & Finance Law

A loan agreement should specify the amount of the loan, the applicable interest rate and the repayment terms. Any security for the loan should also be specified, and additional warranties and undertakings should be included and tailored according to the context.

Not necessarily, interest-free loans can be concluded, but tax advice should be sought beforehand.

The National Credit Act (“NCA”) may apply if the loan is made to an individual or SME. In the case of cross-border loans, the regulations under the Currency and Exchanges Act, 1933 may be applicable. 

The law as it applies to financial transactions aims to promote a fair, stable and accessible market to facilitate economic prosperity.

We provide opinions on aspects of finance law, advise on the structuring and documentation of financial transactions and compliance with applicable legislation, and we assist clients in negotiating financing terms.

We all deal with banking and finance every day, but having the opportunity to be part of the more intricate side of it is both challenging and exciting.

- Nadia Smith, Caveat Panel Member

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