A person looking to register a company can now walk into an FNB branch and should have a legally operating entity plus a commercial bank account within 24 hours. The arrangement announced yesterday belongs into the list of staff that makes commercial revolutions.
The arrangement was announced by FNB and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which houses the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
FNB has entered into an agreement with CIPC to essentially become an agent in the company registration process. Those who have endured the excruciating the excruciating pain of long lines at CIPC will realise the revolution in this arrangement.
The initiative is designed to make the process of starting a business much easier through integrated end-user electronic service delivery. While speaking to economic fundamentals, the initiative clearly represents a remarkable march by FNB into supremacy within the local banking market. It is a clear marketing coup for FNB.
The rhythms of the coup were clearly displayed during yesterday’s announcement. DTI’s marketing head Clement Manoko said the initiative came after government had sent out a call for help to the banking sector. “We found FNB responsive. They said: How Can We Help You”.
Yesterday’s statement said this major achievement sets the trend for CIPC to become the most innovative registry in the world. The initiative was in line with government’s appeal for financial institutions to support SMMEs in Africa. First National Bank (FNB) partnered with the CIPC responded in an endeavour to streamline the company registration and corporate bank opening processes.
The statement added that this collaboration partnership with FNB is part of the CIPC’s strategy to roll out a series of end-user services to increase efficiencies and reduce inefficient manual services. CIPC engaged all the banks and designed its systems in such a way that all banks can connect to it. CIPC is aggressively migrating to electronic services through the reduction of inefficient manual services.
The minister of trade and industry Rob Davies said “A key theme for the DTI and its agencies is continuous improvement and reduction of red tape for the end-user. This is exactly what this project is demonstrating: it is a public private partnership in the true sense of the term, where government and the bank partnered to offer its different products to their mutual customer through an integrated process. This FNB partnership is one of a number of initiatives that we are implementing to reduce red tape for SMMEs and promote efficiencies for end-users”.
The statement said FNB and CIPC have been collaborating for the past 18 months on these innovative approaches with the express aim of easing the administrative burden businesses are currently faced with. The automated approach to the account opening and registration is a world’s first.
Entrepreneurs who wish to open a corporate bank account have the opportunity to register their companies through the FNB online facility at no additional charge than CIPC’s prescribed fees.
CIPC Commissioner Astrid Ludin said “The process is instantaneous and will reduce red tape, improve service delivery, become more accessible to the broader public and will improve the integrity of the register as well as reduce the turnaround time which is dependent on the speed at which the entrepreneur provides the bank with its ‘Know your customer’ documentation and payment for the service,”. CIPC relies on FNB to conduct identity verification prior to the registration of the enterprise. This is a requirement for both entities by the Companies Act and FICA. As soon as identity verification and residential information are confirmed, applicants’ data is sent to CIPC for validation. Once data is validated and the customer registered with CIPC, payment takes place.