What role should the financial planners of ABSA Brokers play when ABSA Business Bank extends credit facilities to its SME customers?

Roos, Jacques Thomas (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Small and medium enterprises have an important role to play in the South African economy. The success of SME’s will lead to economic growth, that will play a major role in reducing unemployment in South Africa. It will also be the main driver for black economic empowerment. As elsewhere in the world one of the main problems that SME’s face is the need for finance and access to finance. Banks play a major role in providing finance to SME’s by providing different forms of finance to SME’s. The finance that the shareholders / directors can access in their personal capacity plays a critical role in the provision of finance to SME’s. Banks will require security when advancing credit facilities and the security that is offered by the shareholders / directors play an important role in the decision of banks to advance credit. The risk that the banks carry when granting credit facilities to SME’s is reduced when personal suretyships of the directors / shareholders are required. The personal assets of the shareholders / directors are used as security to obtain credit facilities for the SME’s. If the SME’s should fail, the banks will liquidate the personal assets of the directors / shareholders to settle the credit facilities that were granted to the SME’s. Customers are not aware of the dangers when signing surety. Banks have fiduciary duties towards their customers to inform them of any risks and what possible solutions might exist that will minimize the adverse financial effect of such risk consequences. If the surety should die, the bank will have the option to liquidate the assets of the sureties to settle the debts of the entities for which the surety has signed personal surety. Life cover can be affected on the lives of the sureties that will provide the necessary liquidity to settle the debts of the entities without the bank having to liquidate the personal assets of the sureties. Consumer protection has become widespread where the phrase caveat emptor has been replaced by caveat vendor – let the seller be aware. In addition to this the South African Government has also enacted legislation that banks have to adhere to that will lead to customers making informed decisions. The National Credit and the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Acts have been introduced to afford the customer more protection. The banking industry has adopted the Code of Banking Practice which places responsibility on the banks to fully disclose all risks to their customers. It is especially the surety, the person that provides security for the debts of others that now enjoys increased protection. The National Credit Act affords a surety the same protection as the principal debtor and the Code of Banking Practice also contains very specific references with regards to sureties. Banks have become a business and the traditional notion that holds that business ethics and absolute adherence to legislation, industry codes and its own code of ethics will have an adverse effect on business, no longer holds. Many reasons have been given by ABSA Bank as to why the financial planners of ABSA Brokers should not be part and parcel of each transaction where credit facilities are extended to their customers. The reality however is that the Financial Planners must be made part of the process when credit facilities are extended. The Financial Planners must provide a financial needs analysis to the customer that will enable the customer to make an informed decision as to whether to implement life cover or not. By making the financial planners part of the process ABSA Business Bank will ensure adherence to legislation, industry codes and most importantly, it will fulfill the fiduciary duty that it has towards its customers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Klein en medium ondernemings (KMO’s) speel ‘n belangrike rol in die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie. Die sukses van klein en medium ondernemings sal lei tot ekonomiese groei, wat sal bydra tot ‘n afname in werkloosheid in Suid Afrika. Dit sal ook die hoof drywer wees van swart ekonomiese bemagtiging. Soos elders in die wêreld is een van die hoofprobleme wat deur KMO’s in die gesig gestaar word die behoefte aan finansiering en die toegang tot finansiering. Banke speel ‘n belangrike rol in die verskaffing van finansiering deurdat finansiering in verskeie vorme aan KMO’s beskikbaar gestel word. Die finansiering wat aandeelhouers / direkteure in hulle persoonlike hoedanigheid kan bekom speel ‘n kritieke rol in die verskaffing van finansiering aan KMO’s. Banke vereis sekuriteit wanneer kredietfasiliteite beskikbaar gestel word en die sekuriteit wat deur die aandeelhouers / direkteure aangebied word speel ‘n belangrike rol in die banke se besluit om krediet te verskaf. Die risiko’s wat banke loop wanneer kredietfasiliteite aan KMO’s beskikbaar gestel word, word verminder wanneer persoonlike borgskappe van aandeelhouers / direkteure vereis word. Die persoonlike bates van die aandeelhouers / direkteure word gebruik as sekuriteit om kredietfasiliteite vir KMO’s te bekom. Indien die KMO’s sou misluk, sal die banke die persoonlike bates van direkteure / aandeelhouers te gelde maak om die kredietfasiliteite wat aan die KMO’s beskikbaar gestel was af te los. Kliënte is nie bewus van die gevare wat hulle loop wanneer hulle borgskappe verleen nie. Banke het fidusiêre pligte teenoor hulle kliënte om hulle in te lig aangaande enige risiko’s en watter moontlike oplossings daar bestaan wat enige nadelige finansiële gevolge sal beperk. Indien die borggewer tot sterwe sou kom, het die bank die opsie om die bates van die borggewer te gelde te maak om die skulde te delg van die entiteite waarvoor die borggewers persoonlike sekuriteite verskaf het. Lewensdekking kan aangegaan word op die lewe van die borggewers wat die nodige likiditeit sal verskaf om die skulde van die entiteite te delg sonder dat die persoonlike bates van die borggewers te gelde gemaak hoef te word. Verbruikersbeskerming geniet hedendaags voorrang waar die frase 'caveat emptor' - laat die koper op sy hoede wees - vervang is deur 'caveat vendor' – laat die verkoper bedag wees. Hiermee saam het die Suid-Afrikaanse regering ook wetgewing in plek gestel waaraan banke moet voldoen wat daartoe sal lei dat kliënte ingeligte besluite kan neem. Die Nasionale Kredietwet en die Finansiële Adviseurs- en Tussengangerswet is in werking gestel om meer beskerming aan die verbruiker te verleen. Die bank industrie het ook die Kode van Bankpraktyk aanvaar wat groter verantwoordelikhede op banke plaas om alle risiko’s ten volle aan hulle kliënte te openbaar. Dit is veral die borggewer, die persoon wat sekuriteit verskaf vir die skulde van ander persone / entiteite wat groter beskerming geniet. Die Nasionale Kredietwet bied aan die borggewer dieselfde beskerming as die hoofskuldenaar en die Kode van Bankpraktyk bevat ook spesifieke verwysing na die regte van borggewers. Bankwese het ‘n besigheid geraak en die tradisionele siening dat sake etiek en streng onderworpenheid aan wetgewing, industrie kodes en banke se eie etiese kodes ‘n negatiewe effek op besigheid sal hê, dra nie meer water nie. Verskeie redes is al deur ABSA Bank aangevoer oor hoekom die finansiële beplanners van ABSA Makelaars nie deel moet wees van elke transaksie waar krediet aan kliënte verleen word nie. Die realiteit is egter dat die finansiële beplanners deel van die proses gemaak moet word. Die finansiële beplanners moet ‘n finansiële behoefte ontleding aan die kliënt beskikbaar stel wat die kliënt in staat sal stel om ‘n ingeligte besluit te neem om lewensdekking te implementeer al dan nie. Deur die finansiële beplanners deel van die proses te maak verseker ABSA Besigheidsbank nakoming aan wetgewing en industrie kodes. Wat egter meer belangrik is, is dat die bank dan ook sy fidusiêre plig wat die bank teenoor sy kliënte het, sal nakom.

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