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PublicationSouth Africa - Financial Sector Assessment(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-01-01) World BankThe South African financial system has weathered the shock of COVID-19 but faces growing risks emanating from a weak macroeconomic outlook. The pandemic crisis hit South Africa hard, with nonresident capital outflows accelerating and the domestic and global slowdown precipitating a6.4 percent GDP contraction in 2020. A brief period of liquidity stress was managed with new central bank facilities and a lowering of liquidity requirements; and banks proved resilient thanks to sound capital and liquidity buffers. Asset management and pension assets saw falling valuations, but redemption pressures quickly dissipated as markets stabilized. The intensification of the sovereign financial system nexus emerging from the crisis poses risks going forward, and a resurgence of the pandemic could deteriorate asset quality. Banks are resilient in the FSAP’s baseline; however, amedium-term adverse stress scenario would cause a significant decline in capital although most banks would remain sufficiently capitalized. Under stress, banks could face some liquidity gaps, particularly at very short maturities, highlighting the importance of continued close monitoring. The impact of COVID-19 on insurers has thus far been contained, but prudential rules should be strengthened to ensure the measure of capital is sufficiently robust.