The Big Five of Banking

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by Anchen van Antwerpen

The South African banking landscape has changed significantly over the last couple of years. New complexities have led the industry to assess their positions on local and global levels and strategies are being evaluated to align with new realities.

The 2008 economic crisis has had a lasting effect on the global banking industry. The United States and Europe were most affected – and whilst this had direct consequences for South Africa, tight regulations and the average South African bank’s adequacy ratio being much higher than those of its global counterparts – has left SA relatively unscathed.

This is not to say that South Africa does not have its own stumbling blocks to overcome. Higher inflation/interest rates, labour unrest, the weak rand, energy crisis and the retail industry showing its lowest YOY growth since 2009, are just some of the issues that are having an effect on the industry. These factors point out the importance of each bank’s agility in dealing with an ever-changing landscape. Traditional banking is giving way to a new focus on change and capacity for adaption to ensure progress.

FUTURE STRATEGIES

One bank that has surpassed all expectations is Capitec. Capitec entered the market in 2002 as an affordable, transparent every-day banking service offering just one product – 30-day loans at a 30% interest. Twelve years later and it is set to rival the Big Four banks, consistently rolling out scalable transactional banking services. Capitec’s share price has grown by 172% since March 2014 and it is forecast that it will continue its explosive growth for at least the next four years. In absolute terms Capitec is already larger than Nedbank when it comes to overall growth, customer numbers and acquisition. There has also been an influx of international investment in the bank reaching an overall foreign shareholding of just over 16%. This is also set to increase exponentially…

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