Major Banking Strike Heading Our Way

At the end of September, a major strike is being planned by the largest financial union in South Africa. Sasbo, who currently has more than 73 000 members, are talking about downing tools at the end of the month in protest of the planned retrenchments in the banking sector. 

Sasbo general secretary, Joe Kokela said that the union wants banks to look at other options instead of retrenchment and begin a program to re-skill employees who are at risk. Kokela went on to say that if the banks turn them down then they will ensure that the system is shut down until they come to their senses. In addition, Kokela said that they can make sure that ATMs are replenished at a minimum so that the country runs short on cash. 

According to eNCA, Cosatu is in support of the strike, which has warned that the strike is ‘just a warm up’. Deputy general-secretary, Solly Phetoe said that all Cosatu-affiliated unions will mobiles to ensure that the Sasbo banking sector strike, planned for the 27thSeptember is a success. Also, Phetoe said that this strike is just a build-up to the full national strike on the 7thOctober. 

Why Are They Striking

Recently several local banks have closed numerous branches throughout the country due to digitalisation, which promotes self-service as clients can use their cell phones and computers instead of going to a branch. 

Lenders are cutting jobs as they try and find ways to lower costs and contend with the slow economic growth. Also, there is new competition which is branchless, such as the digital entrants Discovery and TymeBank. 

In recent months, Absa, Nedbank Group and Standard Bank have consulted with staff about cuts. Standard Bank is closing 91 branches, Absa is restructuring operations and Nedbank is in talks with about 1500 employees over job cuts or redeployments according to a report by Bloomberg in July. 

Job cuts is a sensitive issue in South Africa, especially as the unemployment rate has risen to 29%, which is the highest it has been in more than a decade. 

Article Source:

Fincheck Invests in FundingHub, Making it the Largest Financial Comparison Site in SA

Fincheck is a financial comparison site and has recently taken over the full management and equity in FundingHub, which now makes it the biggest financial comparison site in South Africa as well as the largest lead aggregator having signed 71 banks, insurers and lenders. 

FundingHub aims to meet the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, who are looking for finance to grow their business by offering 30 alternative lenders and banks.

Over the two years that the business has been in operation, it has attracted loan sizes on average of R300 000. The largest loan R72 million. In order for SMEs to apply for funding on the online hub, they must have been in business for at least 12 months and operate with an annual turnover of R1 million. 

Fincheck CEO, Michael Bowren said that with FundingHub, SMEs can apply for business finance in under six minutes and can compare multiple accredited finance providers, so that they can make the best choice for their business. 

Various forms of finance are available to SMEs, which can then make it difficult for them to choose the lender that is best suited to their business needs. A business may not know if they need unsecured or secured loans, equipment finance, lines of credit, overdrafts and so on. With FundingHub this has been made simple as they filter options and offer quotes from lenders that are the most appropriate for the business. 

This means that the SME can apply to more than one lender via FundingHub and can choose the most suitable offer. Also, money can be put into a business account within 24 hours, making the process simpler, quicker and easier. 

Fincheck said that would still be offering its core products where consumers can compare personal finance, business finance, vehicle finance, debt consolidation and counselling as well as various insurance products including business insurance, life insurance and funeral cover. They also offer a complete health check.