South Africa's central bank has approved a first-level application for a banking licence by the country's post office. This would allow Postbank to offer banking cards and other products rather than just providing savings accounts. The process to fully approve the licence is expected to be completed within a year.
The new bank, which will see post offices around the country transformed into branches, is intended to serve the South African government's development agenda.
German regulator, the Bundeskartellamt, has said that certain rules in the German banking industry's online banking terms and conditions are illegal, violating both EU and German competition law. It said the banks' general terms and conditions restrict competition between the different providers of payment services online.
"The online banking conditions of the German Banking Industry Committee hinder the offer of new and innovative services in the growing market for payment services in the e-commerce sector. In essence, it is about whether non-bank payment services can also use PINs and TANs. We have taken careful consideration of the justified interest of the banking industry that security in online banking has to be safeguarded. However, the rules currently used cannot be considered as a necessary part of a consistent security concept of the banks and they impede non-bank competitors," Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt said.
In the United Kingdom, an investigation by consumer body Which? has found that some banks charge their customers several times the rates of payday lenders when borrowing through unarranged overdrafts. The investigation found that consumers needing only £100 could be charged more than 12 times the amount the UK's financial regulator allows payday lenders to charge.
Also in the UK, a former Bank of England economist writing in the Times has said that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has too much power and called for an overhaul of the central bank's approach to decision-making due to evidence of "group think".
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