The South African financial sector is expected to play an active role in directing savings towards investments of national priority.
The Financial Sector Charter, established in 2003, commits financial institutions to promoting transformation and contributing to the creation of an equitable society.
To this end, the role of business, in collaboration with government and labour and community groups, in attaining development goals is significant.
The charter calls for the increased access to financial services, the provision of finance and extension of credit, including through equity investment, to South African projects where economic development is lacking and job creation is inadequately facilitated by financial institutions.
Specifically, targeted investment in transformational infrastructure projects, low-income housing, agricultural development and black-owned SMEs is outlined. In March 2012, The Financial Sector Code (FS Code), which attempts to harmonise the Financial Sector Charter with generic codes promoting transformation in the financial sector, was released for public comment.
The FS Code asserts that financial institutions have an important role to play in obtaining sustainable wealth across the economy by leveraging their capacity to allocate resources from saver to borrowers. As with the Financial Sector Charter, the FS Code calls for a commitment to targeted investment.