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JOHANNESBURG - Following the debate in parliament regarding the nationalisation of banks, the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) has come out and said that it is alarming that this was even being considered. 

"Any nationalisation of banks will have a direct impact on stability, and will seriously undermine what fragile levels of confidence remain in our economy and society. We cannot allow ourselves to be in a position where we are further undermining the competitive positions that remain because of political expedience," BASA said in a statement. 

The association went on to say that it is critical that Treasury move quickly and publicly to provide absolute certainty on its policy position in this regard. It is incumbent on all of government to be unequivocal in its position that the financial sector is critical to the economy.

"At a time when Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has declared a commitment to rebuild confidence in our economy and its institutions, and to foster policy certainty, we cannot afford to entertain thoughts of nationalising our banking system. South African banks are globally recognised as being well managed, operated and regulated. Banks play a critical role in our society and any attempt to jeopardise this is must be resisted," BASA went on to say. 

BASA said that it remained willing to engage any party on the role banks play.