Quick reads for this week

PF highlights some quick reads for this week. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

PF highlights some quick reads for this week. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

Published Apr 18, 2024


FSCA’s Consumer Advisory Panel starts its work

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has announced that its newly established Consumer Advisory Panel has officially commenced its work, setting its key strategic objectives for the financial year starting on April 1, 2024. The panel was established in November 2023 to provide independent advice and consumer-relevant perspectives on the work of the FSCA.

“Its key function is to represent the interests of South Africa’s retail financial customers, ensuring that customer perspectives are sufficiently considered in the execution of the FSCA’s work.

“These inputs will be in areas such as research, outreach, and the regulatory instruments used by the Authority. It is also envisaged that the panel will proactively inform the FSCA of consumer concerns related to the financial sector that may require the Authority’s attention,” it said.

Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management has invested R200m in solar projects to help alleviate load shedding

Alternative asset manager Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management has announced that alongside five strategic partners, it has invested R200 million in a portfolio of new and existing South African corporate and industrial solar projects in the financial year just ended on February 29, 2024 (FY24).

According to Westbrooke, the projects acquired are fully operational and will provide 10.8 mW of solar renewable energy which will play a role in South Africa’s efforts to grow the green economy and assist in alleviating the country’s energy challenges.

“The large majority of this capital was provided from Westbrooke’s South African renewable alternatives investment strategy (Westbrooke Real), which invests in a portfolio of solar photovoltaic projects and benefits from an up to 200% income tax deduction provided under Section 12B and 12BA of the Income Tax Act. Section 12B offers investors an accelerated tax allowance on capital invested in assets used in the production of renewable energy,” it said.

Standard Bank closes a $300m sustainable Tier 2 capital loan with International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Standard Bank has announced that it has successfully closed a $300 million (R5.7 billion) sustainable Tier 2 capital loan. The facility was concluded with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The bank said this marked another significant step towards entrenching its sustainability commitments.

“The funding will be allocated to a portfolio of green and social assets – with a specific focus on renewable energy and affordable housing sub-categories, aligning with the Group’s sustainability strategy and commitments to finance renewable energy power plants and social projects in South Africa and across the continent. The facility is structured as a 10.5-year term loan,” it said.

Standard Bank said it was focused, primarily through its sustainable finance division, on providing financial products and services that supported positive sustainability outcomes, including green and social loans and bonds, sustainability-linked loans and bonds, sustainable trade and working capital solutions, and impact investing.

This facility, was earmarked for green and social projects, particularly renewable energy and affordable housing, it said.