FirstRand is proud to have achieved a Level 1 B-BBEE rating under the Financial Sector Charter (FSC) scorecard for the 2023 financial year. This was achieved as a result of concerted efforts by the group’s operating businesses, as well as a strong empowerment strategy, which is hard-wired into the group.
B-BBEE, as defined in legislation, means the economic empowerment of all black (African, Coloured and Indian) South Africans.
Transformation within the group
The group considers transformation to be a critical strategic imperative for its business and for the societies it serves. It focuses its strategy in the six pillars outlined below.
A better macro environment
The group strives to improve the macro environment by changing attitudes and promoting confidence in our country. Through the FirstRand Foundation, the group donates 1% of after-tax profits to carefully selected socio-economic development (SED) initiatives. FirstRand has an active volunteer programme with matched funding. FirstRand’s philosophy embraces the concept of diversity.
The group aims to recruit and promote a disproportionately large number of black individuals, and expose them to an empowered and diverse environment. The group encourages employees to develop their skills and we offer leadership and women development initiatives to build future leaders. Supporting the studies of unemployed black people will have a positive effect on society. The group has embarked on several funding initiatives to that end.
FirstRand helps redress investment imbalances by financing development infrastructure, affordable housing and agriculture, as well as providing cost-effective and innovative access to financial services to previously disadvantaged people in geographic locations where services were not previously accessible.
Development of black business
The group procures from BEE-rated companies and has a special focus on procuring from black-owned and black women-owned entities. Various business units within the group offer financing/investment at preferential rates to small black businesses. There is also support for black fund managers. Mentoring is provided through the group’s enterprise development initiatives. The supplier development initiative was implemented at a group level.
The generic FSC BEE scorecard has the following components:
- management and control;
- skills development;
- preferential procurement;
- empowerment financing, supplier and enterprise development including black business growth financing (BBGF);
- SED and consumer financial education; and
- access to financial services.
FirstRand has transferred significant ownership of the company to black partners. FirstRand’s direct black economic interest is 28.96% and black female economic interest 12.83%. The group continues to facilitate the financing of ownership transfer of other companies through BEE transactions through RMB. Over the past decade, RMB has been known as one of the leaders in both financing and advising on BEE deals.