27 September 2012The percentage of South Africans with a bank account increased from 47% in 2005 to 63% in 2011 after the launch of the country’s first Financial Sector Charter in 2004, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.Addressing more than 350 delegates from over 70 countries at the opening of the 4th Global Policy Forum in Cape Town, Gordhan said South Africa’s experience of the Financial Sector Charter provided a lesson on how to confront the challenges of financial inclusion.The first charter was negotiated in 2004 and resulted in the Mzansi bank account, which has been taken up by three-million users, while banks also began rolling out more branches, he said.The second Financial Sector Charter was gazetted for comment by the Department of Trade and Industry in March.Gordhan said the long-term sustainability of financial systems hinged on the ability of these systems to serve all citizens.“The inequality, the social and political distrust of elites, and the neglect of the poor and the impoverishment of millions as a result of the financial crisis, that we still haven’t recovered from, poses serious challenges to the economic, political and social stability and progress of ourselves,” he said.He said the National Treasury was developing a “twin peaks” regulatory framework for financial services which would come into effect in the next 18 months.The new model would see the development of different regulatory focuses between prudential regulation and consumer protection, while the National Treasury would remain responsible for policy implementation, including one of encouraging greater financial access.He said an IMF report on financial stability released in April was concerning, as it indicated that innovative products were already being developed to sidestep the new financial regulations.The financial sector is faced with various challenges, include a disconnect from the real economy, said Gordhan, who pointed out that banks needed to serve more people and entrepreneurs to generate growth and create jobs.Another challenge was how multi-national banks were serving emerging markets, he said.It was also important to develop regulations to ensure that the poor were protected should new crises emerge.Central banks also needed to ensure that their respective banking sectors weren’t overly dominated by a few big banks, as this could stifle competition and the development of new and affordable financial products.Also addressing the conference on Wednesday, the deputy governor of the central bank of the Philippines, Nestor Espenilla, said the central bank’s policy of focusing of micro finance had led to 200 community banks providing financial services to almost a million micro entrepreneursEspenilla said that along with increasing micro finance, the Philippines government had also encouraged more financial education and consumer protection.Source: SANews.gov.za
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Cooper Family Foundation provided a contribution to Camp Lakota, a Boy Scout camp in Defiance that serves Northwest and West Central Ohio. The $750,000 donation will go toward funding for a new hall at the camp.The relationship between the Boy Scouts of America and Cooper Farms is a long-standing one. The Cooper family has eight current Eagle Scouts and three more in the process of earning the honor.“We believe in scouting and we believe in tradition,” said Greg Cooper. “We have three generations of Eagle Scouts in our family. We’re proud to be able to provide this donation to such a great organization.”The tradition of the Coopers supporting the scouts started with Virgil Cooper and hasn’t ended.“My dad was very involved and very supportive of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” said Dianne Cooper. “We just want to keep that legacy going.”This donation forever etches the Cooper family into the camp’s history as the new building will be donning the name “Cooper Lodge.”Camp Lakota has been serving the youth of Nortwest and West Central Ohio since 1941. The camp covers 640 acres, including the 48-acre Lake Glengary, and is bordered on the west side by the Auglaize River. The camp houses 18 conservation-type campsites.
Bajrang Lal Takhar is happy that his gold medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games has brought the neglected sport of rowing into the limelight.The armyman had won a silver at the Doha Asian Games as well but Takhar was never mentioned as one of the gold medal prospects as the Indian contingent left for China.”Rowing was not considered a major sport in India before the Asian Games.But now, it can no longer be ignored,” Takhar said on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony. Apart from his gold medal in the single sculls event, India also came back with three silver and a bronze from the rowing competition.Men’s four, lightweight men’s four and men’s eight added silver medals to India’s kitty while the women’s pair event was the one which brought a bronze medal.What made the unexpected medal haul all the more creditable was that it was achieved with eight-year-old boats that put the Indians at a disadvantage even before the competition started. The new boats that had been ordered were stuck with customs but Takhar said the problem has been resolved now.”We have got the new boats and that will help us to improve our performances further.” Takhar pointed out that there was still a significant gap between his timing and that of the top rowers at the international level. That needs to be bridged if India hopes for top honours at the 2012 London Olympics.”There is still a gap of eight seconds between my timing in Guangzhou and the gold medalwinning time at the Beijing Olympics.advertisement”Two or three seconds can be made up with the arrival of modern boats. There is still one-and-a-half years left for the London Olympics and we can work towards bridging the remaining five seconds,” he said.The European countries are the ones dominant in the sport, especially Norway these days.” After his achievement in Guangzhou, the Rowing Federation of India has given Takhar a free hand in devising his own schedule in the lead-up to the 2012 mega event. “The federation has left it for me to decide. The training regimen is yet to be finalised. I am resting right now after the strenuous training schedule for the Asian Games.”We may continue training in Hyderabad as we did before the Asiad. If we need some foreign exposure, it will most likely be in Germany. Next year will have the world championship qualifiers and I will also have to prepare for those as Olympic berths will be available there. The venue and dates are still undecided.”