26/01/2017 09:39 SAST | Updated 26/01/2017 13:23 SAST

Transform Voluntarily Or We Will Do It For You, Parliament's Finance Committee Warns Financial Sector

'We are acutely aware of the need to transform the financial sector.'

Gallo Images/Financial Mail/Trevor Samson
Yunus Carrim

The financial sector has been warned to transform voluntarily or risk having Parliament intervene to force changes.

Parliament's finance committee held a meeting on Wednesday to look into the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Amendment Act, which was sent back to Parliament by President Jacob Zuma for further discussions over concerns about the constitutionality of sections of it. Following the meeting, Yunus Carrim, chairperson of the committee, told the Business Day that there was a need for the sector to be transformed.

"We are acutely aware of the need to transform the financial sector. We urge the banks to transform and if they don't do so through engagements with government and Parliament, it will be done for them through popular action that will reduce their prospects of having an effective say," he said.

Carrim said it was unacceptable that four banks controlled 90 percent of the market. The committee will be holding public hearings in March to look at the transformation of the sector.

Business Day reported that Carrim's announcement follows strong indications in government circles that Zuma remains intent on establishing a commission of inquiry into the banks.