COSATU to present submission on Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill to Parliament tomorrow- 09 November 2021 at 10:00 AM
08 November 2021
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will present its submission on the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Select Committee: Finance at 10h00 Tuesday, 09 November during its virtual public hearings.
This is a critical, progressive and long overdue amendment of our financial sector legislation. It will protect depositors and workers, government, the financial sector and the economy as a whole from reckless behaviour by the banking sector. When banks collapse it is workers, pensioners and depositors whose monies are lost. It is bank workers who are retrenched and see their pensions stolen. It is also the state that is forced to spend scarce resources propping up banks.
South Africa has felt this pain when the African Bank hovered on the verge of collapse. Pensioners and workers are still reeling from the loss of their hard-earned savings when VBS was looted into the ground by shameless management, politicians and their friends.
This Bill will further empower the Reserve Bank and government to hold banks accountable and to intervene when needed. It will require the establishment of depositor insurance funds under the supervision of the Reserve Bank to ensure that workers, pensioners and other depositors are provided with some cover. This will help protect the public fiscus from having to bail out banks when resources are badly overstretched.
COSATU is deeply concerned though that the Bill does not go far enough on one fundamental matter. When collapsed banks’ assets are disposed of; it needs to be pensioners, the unemployed and workers who are first in line to receive the compensation due to them. Workers and pensioners cannot afford for their little payments to be delayed for months and years. Neither can they afford to receive whatever funds are remaining once banks and other lenders have been paid.
Parliament needs to seize this moment, amend and strengthen the Bill to ensure that pensioners, the unemployed and workers must by law be required to be the first to receive what is due to them when banks’ assets are disposed of. This must not be delayed for another bill in some distant future.
Issued by COSATU
For comment please contact: Matthew Parks COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687