Insurer Discovery has obtained authorisation from the registrar of banks to set up its bank ahead of obtaining a full banking licence.
“We have received approval in terms of Section 13 of the Banks Act.
“However, the approval for the banking licence is still pending,” group chief financial officer Richard Farber said.
“The next step is for us to apply for the registration of the institution as a bank.
“This can take up to a year and is subject to the approval of the registrar of banks.”
Discovery was unable to disclose anything further, but was working on conditions imposed by the Reserve Bank.
Reserve Bank spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said earlier the bank did not comment on the specifics of applications, but he confirmed that the application was in progress.
The approval is the first step in further diversifying its business from life and health insurance, where the bulk of Discovery’s profit lies.