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Big changes at NBFI

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Worth a monstrous P153 billion, ensuring the safety and sustainability of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) sector is now more important than ever before.

The huge figure represents an incredible increase of P24 billion in just a year, with the sector valued at P129 billion in 2021.

Briefing the press on some of the recent changes affecting NBFI, Director Insurance & Pension at Ministry of Finance, Patrinah Masalela mentioned the new Retirement Funds Act of 2022 and the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Tribunal, which both came into effect last month, as two huge milestones.

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An independent body, the tribunal will review decisions made by NBFI Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) as well as self regulatory organisations like the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).

It is hoped the tribunal will ultimately enhance the efficiency of addressing complaints within the NBFI sector.

“There is a need to ensure safety, fairness and sustainability of this sector and the tribunal is strategically positioned to contribute to the achievement of these objectives.The tribunal bring equity since members are not part of the ministry and this will fast track and improve turnaround times since focus will be on considering appeals from the NBFI sector,” explained Masalela.

The tribunal will also be a quick and cost effective way of bringing services to Batswana, with charges set at P500.

“Litigation can be expensive but this one will act more fairly and provide clients with option to get fast and cheap justice,” promised Masalela.

As for the Retirement Funds Act, tweaks in the law were brought about to provide financial relief, particularly to deferred members – i.e pension fund members who no longer contribute to the fund but still have their benefits preserved and have not reached retirement age.

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The maximum limit retiring members can withdraw was also increased from 33 percent to 50, although Masalela advised members against withdrawing such amounts unless their circumstances leave them with no other choice.

What is an NBFI?

A Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) is a financial institution that does not have a full banking license or is not supervised by a national or international banking regulatory agency

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