This is the latest version of this Government Notice.
Competition Act, 1998
COVID-19 Block Exemption for the Banking Sector, 2020
Government Notice R355 of 2020
- Published in Government Gazette no. 43127 on 23 March 2020
- Commenced on 23 March 2020
- [Up to date as at 5 May 2020]
- [Amended by COVID-19 Block Exemption for the Banking Sector, 2020: Amendment (Government Notice R502 of 2020) on 5 May 2020]
1. DefinitionIn these Regulations any word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Act shall bear that meaning and, unless the context otherwise indicates –
2. PurposeThe purpose of these Regulations is to exempt a category of agreements or practices between Banks, Banking Association of South Africa and/or Payments Association of South Africa from the application of sections 4 and 5 of the Act in response to the declaration of COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, solely for the purpose of:
3. Category of agreements or practices exemptedThe Minister hereby exempts the categories of agreements or practices set out in paragraphs 3.1 and 3.2 when undertaken by banks and paragraph 3.2 when undertaken by financial institutions from the application of sections 4 and 5 of the Act if undertaken at the request of, and in coordination with, the Minister or the Minister of Finance for the sole purpose of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic national disaster and which exclude communication and agreements in respect of prices unless specifically authorised by the Minister or the Minister of Finance.[introductory text substituted by section 3 of Government Notice R502 of 2020]
Debtor and credit management
4. Scope of the exemptionThe scope of these Regulations is limited only to agreements or practices specified under paragraph 3 and which have the sole purpose of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic national disaster as set out in paragraph 2.
5. Amendments to RegulationsGiven the unpredictability of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the areas of collaboration exempted in these Regulations may be expanded or reduced by the Minister by notice published in the Government Gazette in terms of these Regulations.
6.To the extent that the banking sector identifies additional agreements or practices outside paragraph 3 that are necessary to achieve the purpose of these Regulations, the banking sector may request the Minister to expand the scope of the exemption.
7. MonitoringThe Banks, financial institutions, Banking Association of South Africa, Payments Association of South Africa and Association of Savings and Investment South Africa must keep minutes of meetings held and written records of any agreements or practices falling within the scope of these exemptions.[regulation 7 substituted by section 4 of Government Notice R502 of 2020]
8. Representations on these regulations:
9. Short TitleThese Regulations shall be called the COVID-19 Block Exemption for the banking sector, 2020.
10. Commencement and durationThese Regulations shall come into effect on the date of publication in the Government Gazette.
11.These Regulations shall remain in operation for as long as the declaration of the COVID-19 in terms of the National Disaster Management Act as a national disaster subsists, or until they are withdrawn by the Minister whichever comes earlier.
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