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Discovery Bank appoints Reuel Khoza as chairperson

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Discovery Bank’s new chairperson, Dr Reuel J Khoza.
Discovery Bank’s new chairperson, Dr Reuel J Khoza.

Discovery Bank has appointed Dr Reuel J Khoza as chairperson, effective today, replacing Adrian Gore, who remains a director of the bank.

The digital-only bank, owned by Discovery Health, says Dr Khoza’s appointment follows the approval of the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank and complies with the Banks Act that requires the chairperson to be an independent, non-executive director.

Commenting on the appointment, Gore, who is also CEO of Discovery Health, says: “Reuel brings a wealth of experience and will add tremendous value in the governance of Discovery Bank. The bank is performing excellently and we believe he will play a significant role as we continue to build a world-class bank.”

Dr Khoza is currently interim chairperson of the Public Investment Corporation and has served on the boards of other major banking institutions, most recently as chairperson of Nedbank Group.

Discovery Bank has been on a growth trajectory since its launch. The bank reached more than 540 000 accounts in the six months ended December 2020, with over 287 000 clients, piling pressure on competitors in the growing digital financial services sector.

Retail deposits reached R5.7 billion, as at 31 December 2020, with advances more stable at R3.8 billion, which it says reflects its conservative lending strategy, resulting in a 69% lower arrears rate compared with the market.

Discovery Bank was first announced in November 2018 and launched in March 2019, when it touted the new offering as the “world’s first behavioural bank” and a fully-digital bank that can be joined by anyone with a smartphone.

It is one of the digital banks that are shaking up the South African retail banking sector, as they are not stuck with legacy technologies and have cheaper fees.

The other players are TymeBank and Bank Zero.

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