/ 8 August 2018

Patrice Motsepe’s ARC buys all of TymeDigital bank

Empire building: Not content with focusing on owning mines and football teams
Patrice Motsepe says, "These are indeed challenging, difficult and unprecedented times; and it’s important that we come together as South Africans as we have in the past..." (Bloomberg)

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s investment holding company African Rainbow Capital announced on Wednesday that it had bought 90% of the TymeDigital bank, bringing its shareholding up to 100%.

“The acquisition is subject to approval by the regulatory authorities, including that of the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank,” ARC said in a media statement.

ARC did not say what they paid for the 90% of the shares. The bank has not officially launched yet.

Motsepe, ARC’s chairperson, said in a statement that the transaction, once completed, would culminate in the first “black-owned and controlled commercial, retail and digital bank in South Africa”.

“Growth and transformation of the economy remains an important objective, and something that all South Africans should be supporting. Economic growth will come about as a result of ongoing investment, including the type of investment we are announcing today.”

Motsepe said economic inclusivity would increase if the SA public were presented with a “greater choice of bank products and when products are made available at significantly lower bank costs relative to peers”.

In September 2017, SA fintech outfit Tyme announced it had been granted a licence by the Reserve Bank. The operating licence to TymeDigital by Commonwealth Bank SA was the first issued to a new bank by the Reserve Bank since 1999. At the time ARC acquired 10% of the bank’s shares.

ARC said on Wednesday that TymeDigital was still trialling its operations as it works towards an official launch. “[The bank] aims to provide affordable and accessible banking services through a growing network of partners, including Pick n Pay as its leading distribution partner, with 750 Pick ‘n Pay and Boxer stores,” ARC said in a statement.

TymeDigital CEO Sandile Shabalala said in a statement that the digital bank was “delighted [that] our business will have a much stronger association with ARC, which is becoming a formidable force in the financial services industry”.