Report Says SA Banking CEOs Are Not Fully Qualified


An international banking advisory firm, Lafferty Group, has drawn attentions on the how most of SA banking CEOs are under qualified for their jobs.

According to the firm, only one of the current chief executives at the top four banks in South Africa is properly qualified.

The firm raised this concern after Business day live presented Barclays Africa’s (Absa) MARIA Ramos as the only qualified SA Banking CEOs who has a specialist banking qualification citing the latest Lafferty Bank Quality Ratings.

The report says about 100 banks were being reviewed worldwide and  Barclays Africa’s Ms Ramos was among the few who hold a diploma from the Institute of Bankers.

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Reacting to this, Michael Lafferty, chairman of the Lafferty Group, said: “We do not consider that being a chartered accountant, a lawyer or having an MBA amounts to a banking qualification.”

According to the Chartered Banker Institute, a Chartered Banker Diploma ‘combines the theory and practice of banking and aims to provide you with an extensive, detailed knowledge which will enable you to critically analyse key banking themes’.

The banking qualifications issue came to the fore during the UK government’s independent inquiry into the banking sector after a number of banks failed. “The CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland was a chartered accountant, but the bank failed,” Mr Lafferty said.

Adrian Cloete, an analyst at PSG Wealth has however said that the listed South African banks have excellent management and are very well-governed by the Reserve Bank. “This played a big role in why our banking system wasn’t really affected during the global financial crisis,” he added.

Meanwhile, in one of its recent rankings, Lafferty Group placed Capitec bank as the best bank in the world in its inaugural Bank Quality Rankings, despite the company’s CEO not having a ‘specialist banking qualification’.

According to the report’s findings, Capitec came out on top, with the only 5 star rating out of the 100 banking groups listed.

The firm combined financial and non-financial disclosures in banking groups’ latest annual reports to determine the quality of the organisations and their respective business models for its ranking.

Here is the List of tertiary qualification of top SA banking CEOs as compiled by Business Tech

CEO Company University Qualification
Johan Burger FirstRand RAU BCom (Hons), CA(SA)
Jacques Celliers FNB Stellenbosch, UCT B.Eng (Civil), MBA
Ben Kruger Standard Bank UP, Harvard BCom (Hons), CA(SA), AMP
Sim Tshabalala Standard Bank Rhodes, University of Notre Dame, Wits, Harvard BA LLB, LLM, HDip Tax, AMP
Maria Ramos Absa Wits, University of London BCom, CAIB, MSc
Mike Brown Nedbank UKZN, Harvard BCom, AMP
Gerrie Fourie Capitec Stellenbosch BCom (Hons), MBA

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