|South Africa has seen phenomenal growth in the bridging finance industry, with myriad bridging companies having opened their doors for business over the past 18 months. |
The growth of the industry has dictated that the presence of a regulatory body is imperative. As such, The Bridging Finance Association of South Africa (BFASA) was established earlier this year to address this need.
Officially founded on 15 January 2007 by some of the country’s largest bridging finance companies, BFASA is now operational with a code of conduct in place.
BFASA aims to introduce the concept of self regulation to the bridging finance industry, to ensure the long term sustainability of the industry and to create, among others, a culture of information sharing between its members.
According to Rieghard van Rensburg, chairman of BFASA, the short and long term sustainability of the industry will be achieved to a certain extent through BFASA’s participation in financial industry discussions and forums, as well as cooperation in respect of government initiatives. “We aim to be very involved in terms of financial legislation and regulation on a national level,” says van Rensburg.
The association will also actively promote ethical and socially responsible conduct within the industry. BFASA will further promote information sharing among its members in order to identify and avoid fraudulent activities such as double discounting etc. Through this information sharing, the association strives to ensure the continuing survival of the industry and its players.
BFASA is a Section 21 company that consists of a board of directors. It has a memorandum of association, statutes and working committees. All members join voluntarily and are obliged to pay an annual membership fee. “The members have to sign the memorandum of association, statutes and code of conduct,” notes van Rensburg.
The code of conduct covers issues such as conduct, rules for practice and ethical practice, accountability to the consumer, privacy, truth in advertising and professionalism, among others.
Van Rensburg says that as a whole, the industry needs to stand together to address common threats in order to create a sustainable long term environment.
BFASA has already signed on approximately 20 of the bigger players in the industry as members, and invites all bridging companies interested in joining the association to email Rieghard van Rensburg at email@example.com.