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Wednesday 24 August 2016
08:30-09:15 Welcome coffee and registration

Welcome remarks

  • Hugo Smit, Head of Sub Sahara Africa, SWIFT

The economic outlook for South Africa

In 2014, Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa’s leading economy overnight. While the South African economy is faring better than the West African markets that are dependent on a single commodity, it is struggling to keep up with the growth seen in East Africa. This is due to a plunge in metal prices fuelled by the slowdown of its biggest export market, China. What does South Africa need to do in order to reverse this negative trend and what has the country already done to diversify its economy?

This presentation will look at the key challenges facing South Africa’s economy and look for opportunities as to how to buck the current negative trends.

  • Ian Cruickshanks, Chief Economist, Institute of Race Relations
  • Hugo Smit, Head of Sub Sahara Africa, SWIFT (moderator)
10:00-10:15 Q&A

De-risking – the impact of financial crime compliance regulations on South Africa

The impact of the global regulatory environment on correspondent banking networks is clear. SWIFT data shows that South Africa has seen a reduction in the number of foreign counterparties with whom they transact. As the challenge of complying with new regulations continues to grow, what is the real impact of new regulation on the banking industry and what can banks do to ensure that compliance does not hinder healthy expansion and safe activities? This panel will also look at whether regulatory harmonization across SADC as well as regional payment systems could counter de-risking.

  • Stephen Mkwanazi, Manager of Anti-Money Laundering and Review Teams, South African Reserve Bank
  • Willem Kruger, Head of Compliance and Regulatory Product,Nedbank
  • Harry Newman, Head of Banking Initiatives, SWIFT (moderator)
11:00-11:30 Coffee break and networking

Payment system evolution – Balancing emerging and first world payments

South Africa has a world-renowned financial system, which is large and well developed. However, the country is also facing some major challenges to its payment infrastructure. A large proportion of its population, 23.5%, is unbanked and R12 bn in cash is believed to be held outside of banks. Additionally, technological advancements and a wealth of new FinTech entrants are challenging the traditional correspondent banking model. Lastly, the shift towards real time payments has become a global phenomenon, changing the shape of payments systems around the world. This panel will look at the unique challenges facing South Africa and how its payment systems will need to evolve to combat them.

  • Gerrie Butler, Corporate Banking  eSolutions, Rand Merchant Bank
  • Chris Hamilton, CEO, Bankserv
  • Tom Newton-King, Mobile and Strategic Payments Consultant
  • Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East, Turkey & Africa, SWIFT (moderator)

The challenges of managing cyber risk

Cyber-attacks hit the headlines on a daily basis, and the banking sector is a top target. In a world built upon trust and dependent on reliable technology, financial institutions can stand or fall based on their upfront management of cyber risk and readiness to respond in the event of an attack. But what do banks need to do to effectively manage cyber risks? How does this extend beyond the more traditional view of technology risk? And how can these security investments be managed against regulatory and business-growth led demands?

  • Susan Potgieter, General Manager, Information Hub, SABRIC
  • Hugo Smit, Head of Sub Sahara Africa, SWIFT
  • Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East, Turkey & Africa, SWIFT (moderator)
12:45-14:00 Lunch and networking

'In conversation'- the future of payments: correspondent banking fight back

A wave of money is flowing into financial technology. Globally, more than GBP4 billion of investments were made between July 2015 and January 2016 alone, much of that targeting the payments business. News that disruptive FinTech companies are eating into banks’ business is rife and many are moving up the value chain from low value person to person transactions to offer an alternative model to traditional correspondent banking. However, banks are fighting back. They are investigating how disruptive technologies can support their businesses and are working together in unprecedented ways to improve the experience and reduce costs for the end customers. This session looks at the challenges to the correspondent banking model and what SWIFT is doing to assist the community in defending their territory.

  • Harry Newman, Head of Banking Initiatives, SWIFT
  • Rob Green, Head of Payment Market Infrastructure in group Treasury, FirstRand Bank, and SWIFT board member (moderator)

The next step for Africa’s securities markets

South Africa’s securities markets have always led the way in Africa – it wasthe first to adopt ISO 15022, for example. In July it will be the first African market to move to T+3 and its bond markets are about to move to a new settlement system. This session looks at the challenges and initiatives awaiting South Africa’s securities markets.

  • Charl Bruyns, Head of Investor Services, Standard Bank Group
  • Donna Nemer, Director of Capital Markets, Johannesburg Stock Exchange
  • Malungelo Zilimbola, CEO, Mazi Capital
  • Ian Bessarabia, Business Development Manager, Securities, SWIFT (moderator)
15:15-15:45 Coffee Break

'In conversation' - Blockchain – beyond the hype

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has hit the mainstream and research investment in the technology is hitting all-time highs. Financial institutions are coming together to refine and evolve DLT solutions and excitement is growing in the industry. But what is really driving this – is blockchain just another fad or will it truly disrupt our existing businesses? What are its benefits? How are the downsides being tackled? And is the technology itself, or the collaboration and dialogue it is initiating, the real change driver? In this session, our panel will debate whether there is more to blockchain than just the hype.

  • Tanya Knowles, Head of Projects, Innovation and Business Services, Strate
  • Hugo Smit, head of Sub Sahara Africa, SWIFT (moderator)

SWIFT in South Africa – supporting the community

Despite the economic challenges facing South Africa, its financial industry continues to drive innovation in payments, securities and compliance. Working closely with the SWIFT users of South Africa (SUSA), SWIFT too is evolving to better serve the community, including opening new offices in Kenya and Ghana. SWIFT is also working closely with the community to offer new initiatives such as SWIFT Scope and on major projects such as the replacement of South Africa’s RTGS and the ongoing implementation of SIRESS within the SADC region.


What more can SWIFT do to help the South African financial industry realise its ambitions across the continent?

  • Rob Green, Head of Payment Market Infrastructure in group Treasury, FirstRand Bank, and SWIFT board member
  • Hugo Smit, Head of Sub Sahara Africa, SWIFT
  • Anneke de Matos Preto, Head of SWIFT & Financial Messaging Services, Standard Bank (moderator)
17:00 on Networking drinks