South Africa has tapped the head of risk management at a local investment bank as its next banking regulator, the central bank said in a statement on Thursday.
Rene van Wyk, currently at Nedbank Capital, a unit of Nedbank Group, will take over as registrar of banks in Africa's top economy on November 1, the South African Reserve Bank said.
A chartered accountant, Van Wyk joined Nedbank in 1993 and has held a series of senior positions within the firm.
Van Wyk will replace interim registrar Michael Backbeard, who stepped into the position after Errol Kruger exited the job at the end of July. Kruger was widely credited with steering banks in the country safely through the credit crisis.
The central bank also appointed Nkosana Mashiya and Robert Urry as deputy registrars.
Van Wyk will take over the job at a time when global banking regulations have yet to be finalised.
South African banks were spared most of the pain that accompanied the global financial crisis due to stiff regulation.
Unlike some jurisdictions, South Africa does not allow instruments such as high-grade corporate debt to count toward liquidity buffers -- meaning that banks are forced into buying government debt to meet the requirements.
Banks will be keen to see if Kruger's successor will be willing to water down the definition of a liquid asset.
Banking in Africa's biggest economy is dominated by four players: Standard Bank, FirstRand, Nedbank and Absa, a unit of Britain's Barclays.
The lenders are adequately capitalised, but due to their reliance on short-term funding, they are likely to face big hurdles to meet bank liquidity requirements that are under discussion.