Trade union Solidarity has says Discovery Bank, which was launched din November last year, is offering a completely digital banking service with products designed to improve the money management of clients. The bank also offers black depositors 10% equity in the business without any cost or risk to them. This offer is not available to whites. Solidarity says this is racist.
Discovery CEO Adrian Gore described the new venture as the world’s first “behavioural bank”, which will reward clients for healthy life choices and good financial decisions. Some of these benefits include dynamic interest rates and “fantastic discounts” with Discovery’s commercial partners.
BusinessTech.co.za reports that as part of its value proposition by Discovery Bank, the institution will give black depositors the 10% equity offer without any cost or risk. Gore admitted in an interview that the “there is some political risk” because the plan excludes white customers, but said they are convinced it is a good thing to do.
“We need to consult broadly and understand it deeply. We feel strongly with deep conviction that it is a good thing to do,” he said.
Solidarity disagrees. The trade union argues that the Bank “doesn’t want to reward people according to their behaviour alone, but also according to their race…black clients will receive 10% of the shares in the bank because they are black and white clients won’t receive 10% of the shares in the bank because they are white,” Solidarity says in a statement.
“White South Africans have helped build Discovery as much as any other group has. Yet, Discovery is saying that its white clients have lower worth.”
“When two clients whose financial situation is exactly the same walk through the bank’s doors, the black client is worth more simply because he is black.”
Solidarity says a special website, SMSs, and WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter campaigns will be used to exert pressure on Discovery to make their empowerment plan inclusive. The union’s Facebook campaign encourages its members to “make their voice heard against Discovery’s race plan” and “Vote No”.
The union has also put up a billboard on the N1 highway to encourage people to stay away from Discovery Bank.
The billboard simply states “Discovery Bank #StemNee” (Vote No) with the Solidarity branding at the bottom.