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SA banks stable - Marcus

Johannesburg - South Africa's banking system is in a stable condition, amid a worldwide distrust of finance institutions, SA Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus said on Wednesday.

South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus. Photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“It is important to stress that, without being complacent, the South African banking system remains sound and well capitalised,” she said in a speech prepared for delivery in Grahamstown.

“The South African authorities have not had to assist any bank, nor provide liquidity to prop up the system.”

She said the global financial crisis had led many to become distrustful of banks or financial systems.

“The anger that has been exhibited against the banking sector in various countries, for example the on-going 'Occupy Wall Street' campaign, is indicative of a lack of trust in the financial system.

“Our banking system was one of the few that emerged relatively unscathed from the crisis.”

She said the importance of trusting in a financial system could not be over-emphasised.

“Without it the financial system breaks down, and without an efficiently working financial system, the economy will not operate effectively,” Marcus said.

“A lack of trust in banks or in financial markets can undermine the system as a whole. If clients do not trust their banks they will not borrow from them, (and) if banks do not trust their customers they will not lend to them.” - Sapa

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