Original Research

Sustainable banking practices in Southern Africa

Cashandra C. Mara
Acta Commercii | Vol 23, No 1 | a1191 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v23i1.1191 | © 2023 Cashandra C. Mara | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 July 2023 | Published: 08 December 2023

About the author(s)

Cashandra C. Mara, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Problematic loans expose commercial banks to great risk. South African and Namibian banks are highly regulated and require a higher capital adequacy ratio to shield the banking system from default risk. However, such intense regulation distorts the cost of capital and denies equal access to many previously disadvantaged members of society previously excluded from banking services. Highly regulated banking therefore holds major implications for the country’s growth prospects.

Research purpose: This theoretical paper examines the South African and Namibian banking systems, to understand the challenges in managing risk and creating greater stakeholder value. As the forerunner to an empirical investigation, it intended to understand scholarly views on sustainable banking practices and financial exclusion.

Motivation for the study: Borrowing from the fields of strategic management and business psychology, this study unpacks the human role in executing sustainable banking practices.

Research design, approach and method: Theoretical, abstract research, analysing recent research, was conducted to uncover current banking research trends in South Africa and Namibia.

Main findings: Value creation, rather than compliance, should be prioritised, to achieve sustainable lending, risk management and inclusivity.

Practical/managerial implications: Policy makers in the South African and Namibian financial services sectors may benefit from this theoretical research and use it to improve their ability to strike a balance between sustainable banking, increasing access to banking for the previously unbanked, and meeting regulator needs.

Contribution/value-add: This study makes a theoretical contribution to the body of knowledge on sustainable banking, which is an emerging field globally.


Basel III; financial exclusion; Namibia; South Africa; sustainability

JEL Codes

G41: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making in Financial Markets

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 1: No poverty


Total abstract views: 356
Total article views: 259

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.