SocGen exit

Societe Generale Johannesburg Branch has voluntarily terminated its participation in Strate’s equity, bonds and money market environments. It ceased to be a full bank participant in the Strate environment with effect from 8 April 2020.

The Societe Generale custody and trustee business has been successfully transitioned to Absa Bank Limited.

Societe Generale has been a Strate client for many years and over that time has played a vital role in the financial markets ecosystem through its participation in market workshops, committees and forums. Its commitment to the testing and implementation of new products and services has been invaluable in assisting Strate to successfully introduce innovations to the market.

We wish Societe Generale great success as it focuses on its new strategic plan.

Turning compliance costs into competitive strategy

Created to alleviate and mitigate the build-up of systemic risk in financial markets, regulations drafted and implemented in South Africa post the global financial crisis have brought with them major complexities.


For entities with multiple exposures across various markets (e.g. a bank with multiple securities financing and derivative disciplines) this compounds to a plethora of regulatory, reporting and capital obligations for a single entity.


It is not surprising then that the cost implication of managing inventory and associated operational complexity across silos and eligibility requirements is costing companies significantly more than anticipated. In fact, according to Deloitte in 2017, when compared with pre-financial crisis spending levels, operating costs spent on compliance have increased by over 60% for retail and corporate banks. From reporting, to collateralisation, to capital penalties imposed for failure to conform, the cost associated with an inefficient strategy will become a competitive issue in the future, directly affecting bottom line performance.


While South African banks may not have been hit by the full force of the regulatory tidal wave just yet, the top tier banks are starting to feel the compounding effects. Phase 5 and 6 of the European EMIR uncleared margin requirements mandating the provision of non-cash collateral for initial margin comes into effect in September this year, tailed in 2021 by the JSE Securities Exchange’s acceptance of non-cash collateral for initial margin for exchange-traded derivatives in South Africa. Add these regulations to the current Basel IV requirements demanding collateral and reporting for LCR, NSFR in 2021, and the upcoming SACCR requirements in October (non -modellable approach for measuring counterparty credit risk associated with derivatives), and a strong case is made for the accelerated adoption of internal and external systems and compliance technologies.


Given the impact of various forms of regulation across numerous areas, there is increased demand for standardised reporting as well as greater contention over access to high-quality collateral. With an estimated R60 billion shortfall in high-quality liquid assets in South Africa according to the SARB, a cross-asset, cross-functional view that consolidates data and takes into consideration holistic collateral inventory will help to drive profits and a competitive strategy. It is, however, the bank that does collateral inventory management best that will gain the competitive advantage.


Kelly Robinson

Strate Collateral Services


Strate e-Voting continues to serve the financial markets amidst COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our economy, our face-to-face business interaction and placing insurmountable strain on governments and healthcare systems in South Africa and globally. We acknowledge that this is a critical time for our clients as we all establish ways to manage the National State of Disaster.


Strate’s resilience measures remain focused on ensuring we continue to serve the financial markets while withstanding a diverse and varied set of stress scenarios. As such we have taken the necessary steps to enable our employees, clients and business partners, through our digital platforms,  to carry on with business-as-usual activities.


Strate implemented an electronic voting platform in December 2019, that provides you with an e-Voting solution. This is an end-to-end voting solution to cater for the South African market with the primary focus of reducing risks and inefficiencies in the value chain.


In light of the conditions we face in managing the pandemic, one of the benefits of e-voting is the ability to host virtual meetings for your shareholders. For issuers facing the cancellation of shareholder meetings, e-voting enables you to still go ahead with your meeting virtually via our digital platform.  The in-platform chat functionality allows for interaction between shareholders and issuers and maintains the integrity of the process.


We would like to assure you that during the nationwide 21 days of lockdown, it is “business as usual” at Strate as we are 100% committed to business continuity. Through our combined efforts as a market, we can stand together to flatten the curve and decrease the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.


Strate remains committed to serving the South African financial markets. Should you have any questions regarding the use of Strate e-Voting, please contact the team on

Strate continues to serve the financial markets amidst COVID-19

The world is dealing with an unprecedented global health emergency, Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). At Strate, we have been closely monitoring the situation. Our primary concern remains our ability to continue our services to the financial markets while ensuring the wellbeing of our employees in the face of this pandemic threat.

We would like to assure you that Strate has taken the appropriate measures to ensure the continuity of our business activities. We are leveraging various technology solutions to remain productive and in constant communication with our employees and the markets as a whole.


As a systemically important financial institution, we would like to assure you that during the nationwide 21 days of lockdown, it is “business as usual” at Strate as we adapt to the new way of working but rest assured that we are 100% committed to business continuity, just as we are in upholding the well-being of our employees and helping the country curb the spread of the coronavirus.


We have supplied back-up power appliances to ensure business continuity during power disruptions when employees are operating remotely.  These measures have been extensively tested and we are pleased to report that Strate is prepared.


Despite the exceptionally high volume of transactions being processed across the financial markets, Strate is performing well, with all services operating normally.  Our focus remains on serving the financial markets with the same level of efficiency and commitment you have come to expect from us.


We appreciate your support and understanding as we all adapt to these challenging times.

For more information, contact

Strate has been approved to issue Legal Entity Identifiers

South African legal entities who have to comply with European regulations to execute a transaction with European counterparts can now apply to Strate for their Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), which is being used by regulators to provide greater transparency into financial markets and counter party exposures.


From June 2018, firms subject to MiFID II transaction reporting obligations will not be able to execute a trade on behalf of a client who does not have a valid LEI. This is just one of a number of European regulations and directives where an LEI is required, with the next phase of European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) on margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives to follow.


On 31 May 2018, the Global LEI Foundation (GLEIF) approved Strate as a fully accredited issuer of LEIs, known as a Local Operating Unit (LOU). LOUs are the utilities endorsed by the Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC), or accredited by the GLEIF under ROC oversight, to provide LEI registrations to registrants and other services. Strate has been issuing LEI since 2014 in its role as an endorsed pre-LOU, and to date, has issued over 350 LEIs.


For more information, visit




Strate unwraps its new website

Strate is proud to announce that its new website is live, where current and prospective clients will find useful information about our services in a fresh and fluid design that can be viewed on both desktop and mobile versions.


Leigh Bevis, Head of Marketing and Business Development explains, “The digital marketing landscape has changed significantly and people want to interact with content. Strate’s new website is far more visual, which means it’s easier for many users to remember. When customers remember your visual site, which incorporates videos and infographics as content, they also remember your brand and you as a company.”


People visiting Strate’s website will now find that information is much easier to digest in its repackaged form and key products and services have been given prominence as visual blocks on the landing page. “There is movement in some of the diagrams, animations and infographics and the videos provide informative news or views on industry trends, our market or Strate’s services,” Bevis adds.


Given that some content has been shortened, or removed, email addresses have been provided for clients to request the information from the correct people within Strate. Should you wish to access Strate’s Directives, Special Gazettes, or Guidance Practice Notes, then you need to email  to request a copy of the document that you would like to access. (If you have registered for the Strate Exams and require a copy of the Directives as part of your study material, please request this directly from the Strate Academy via


To visit the new site, go to







4AX goes live with two issuers using Strate’s settlement services

Strate welcomes the news that its client – one of South Africa’s newest exchanges, 4 Africa Exchange (4AX) – announced its first two issuer listings on the Exchange – NWK Limited and NWK Holdings Limited.


NWK used to trade shares in the over-the-counter market. However, changes to financial market legislation and regulations meant that companies like NWK had to trade these shares on a formal market.


The changes to regulation was one of the reasons that led to the creation of 4AX, which intends to provide a formal trading platform for the over-the-counter equities market. The company has indicated that it would broaden this to medium-sized enterprises, real estate investment trusts, restricted schemes and special purpose vehicles given that its licence allows it to serve multiple asset classes.


At the beginning of September 2016, the Financial Services Board notified the market that it had granted 4AX an exchange licence. Strate was appointed by 4AX to provide it with central securities depository and settlement services. 4AX offers investors a T+3 settlement cycle, allowing trades matched on its system to be cleared and settled within three business days after the trade date.


Gregory Naicker, the General Manger Product Development at Strate, says, “Strate welcomes the news of 4AX’s inaugural listings and we would like to commend 4AX on their historic milestone.”


According to news sources, 4AX is targeting nine more companies across the construction, engineering, hospitality, property development and tourism, two of which are expected to be inward listings.


Below are images of Greg Naicker with the 4AX executive team, as well as the NWK executive teams: