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Discovery moves a step closer to banking licence

Discovery announced last year that it would spend R2.1 billion to set up a retail bank.

Picture: Discovery Holdings.

JOHANNESBURG - Insurance group Discovery has been given the regulatory go-ahead to establish a banking presence in South Africa, the company said on Tuesday, in a move that could lead to it gaining a banking licence within a year.

Discovery announced last year that it would spend R2.1 billion to set up a retail bank based on the "behavioural model" it uses in life and health insurance to reward members for their choices.

The company said on Tuesday that it had gained approval from the Registrar of Banks to establish a bank and now has a year to meet certain conditions before the registrar decides whether to grant a banking licence.

Discovery did not elaborate on the conditions set by the regulator.