South African health insurance group Discovery has secured a licence from the Registrar of Banks to start retail banking operations in the country.

The licence approval is, however, subject to conditions regarding the proposed shareholding in the new bank and approval from regulators including that of the Competition Commission.

“Discovery awaits the Competition Commission’s final response and is in the process of assessing the implications of the conditions. Shareholders will be informed of further developments and progress in the development of Discovery Bank Limited when appropriate,” the company said in a statement.

According to Discovery CEO Adrian Gore, the company is on track to launch retail banking operations by the middle of 2018.

The insurer unveiled plans to launch a full-service retail bank in September 2015.

At the time, the firm said that would use ZAR1.3bn ($97.4m) to raise its stake in its credit card arm and a joint venture with the FirstRand Group – DiscoveryCard – to about 75% as a first step.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In October 2016, the firm obtained approval from the Registrar of Banks in South Africa to launch a retail bank.