The Banking Association South Africa (Basa) has announced the appointment of Bongiwe Kunene as its new MD, saying her skills and experience will serve the association well, while building on the strengths of the financial services sector amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Kunene replaces Cas Coovadia, who will be retiring, and her term of office begins on Wednesday.
“Kunene joins the association at an extremely challenging time for our economy, and as a result, at a challenging time for the banking sector and its customers. In recent weeks this has been exacerbated by the human and economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is having unprecedented impacts around the world,” said Basa chairperson Mike Brown.
Kunene holds an MSc in Development Economics from the University of London.
Kunene was the group head of Standard Bank Personal and Business Banking for the Public Sector and has extensive experience in the public and private sectors.
She was also part of the team in Treasury which created fiscal and economic frameworks for the country, between 1994 and 1998.
Further, she has served as head of the Gauteng Department of Finance and Economic Affairs, in the South African Presidency and as World Bank executive director representing South Africa, Nigeria and Angola.
“Now more than ever we need Basa to respond effectively to evolving regulatory and other changes that affect the interests of banks and their customers, while maintaining the safety and soundness of the financial system,” said Brown.
Kunene said banks had a unique responsibility in South Africa’s economy.
“They hold in trust the savings of our country’s workers, professionals and companies, and facilitate investment in the productive infrastructure needed for inclusive economic growth and job creation. I look forward to working with our members and industry stakeholders to help ensure the continued resilience of our banks in the service of our customers, shareholders and the development of our country,” she said.
Brown expressed Basa’s gratitude to Coovadia for his contributions to the growth and development of the association and its members and wished him well for future endeavours.