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Nedbank CEO: Decisive action needed to prevent further downgrades

Nedbank says it is disappointed by the decision as it comes ahead of key events such as the ANC’s elective conference next month and the budget in February next year.

A screengrab shows Nedbank’s CEO Mike Brown. Picture: youtube.com

JOHANNESBURG – There’s been mixed reaction to the decision by Standard & Poor’s Global to downgrade the country's local currency credit rating with some saying government needs to improve on several areas, including fiscal discipline.

Nedbank says it is disappointed by the decision as it comes ahead of key events, such as the ANC’s elective conference next month and the budget in February next year.

However, the bank says it remains committed to ensuring that the financial sector is resilient and capable of supporting a recovery of the economy.

Moody’s, however, announced that it’ll maintain its investment ratings of South Africa’s government debt a notch above junk status for now.

Nedbank’s CEO Mike Brown says the country has a very short window to change the outlook for the economy.

Brown says decisive action is required to prevent further downgrades next year.

“Our country urgently requires ethical and inspirational leadership in the best interest of our country.”

He says the company is well positioned to manage the impact of ratings downgrades, but they represent another setback for the country and, as a result, all South Africans will on average be poorer.

Treasury has responded to the downgrade and review by the two ratings agencies respectively, saying it will use its annual budget next year to outline “decisive” policies to strengthen its fiscal framework.

The ministry says it has plans to address the root causes of the revenue shortage of about R50 billion.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)