South Africa boasted one of only three sophisticated financial sectors in the world whose banks didn't require a taxpayer funded bail-out in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. This was due entirely to the tight but unpopular application of his strict rules by SA's then Banking Regulator, Errol Kruger. He won numerous awards, but probably the most valuable was when Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told Parliament the nation owed a huge debt to Kruger. He stood firm in the face of criticism, undeterred by the laxness of counterparts elsewhere and applied agreed reserve requirements, saving SA banks from shooting themselves in the foot. In 2011, Kruger retired as Banking Regulator after 34 years at the SA Reserve Bank and was snapped up on a five year contract by oil-rich Qatar - headhunted after a global search. When his contract in the Middle East ends next month, Kruger will head home to Pretoria, swimming against a tide which is seeing mosty in his skills category migrating the other way. Biznews.com's Alec Hogg caught up with the unlikely national hero in London, to discover what is behind his counter-cyclical decision; and hear how Kruger is preparing for his first banking directorship since leaving the SARB.
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