Who owns the South African Reserve Bank?
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is a privately owned central bank.
In fact, it is possible for almost anyone to buy shares in the SARB.
Since its establishment, the Reserve Bank has always been privately owned. Today the Bank has more than 630 shareholders and its shares are traded on an Over the counter share transfer facility market (OTCSTF market) co-ordinated within the Reserve Bank. Except for the provision of the SA Reserve Bank Act that no individual shareholder may hold more than 10 000 shares of the total number of 2 000 000 issued shares, there is no limitation on shareholding. After allowing for certain provisions, payment of company tax on profits, transfers to reserves and dividend payments of not more than 10 cents per share to shareholders, the surplus of the Bank’s earnings is paid to the Government. The Bank’s operations are therefore not driven by a profit motive, but by serving the best interests of all the people in South Africa.
Even though the SARB is privately owned, it appears that the shareholders don’t have a say in the decisions made by the bank.