The biggest banks in South Africa by customers

FirstRand has released its interim results for the six months ending December 2016, revealing the latest banking client growth for its retail banking division, First National Bank (FNB).

According to the bank’s CEO Jacques Cilliers, FNB saw a 6.4% growth in banking customers over the period, which would take the group up from 7.4 million customers at its full year reporting in June 2016 to around 7.7 million at the end of the year.

“By producing an above-inflation growth rate, in a period when there was very little growth in the economy, we can see that customers were attracted by comprehensive and low cost digital banking services including our Connect and Service Provider business and insurance business,” said FNB CEO Jacques Cilliers.

“As conditions tightened, with a contraction in GDP during the last quarter, we noted customers increasingly moved to bank accounts and services that enable free transactions and offer meaningful rewards such as eBucks.

“In addition, our ability to disrupt established fee structures in the mobile data and telephony sector presents an attractive alternative. “

The latest client numbers would take FNB above Nedbank, which appears to have lost clients over the period, with the bank stating that it had 7.4 million retail customers in South Africa at the end of 2016 – 7.7 million including the rest of Africa.

Absa and Standard Bank have also released data on their client numbers: Standard Bank told BusinessTech that it achieved 2% growth on customers in it retail segment – though it noted that the bank “experienced some client losses in middle market customers”.

2% growth on the 11.6 million customers reported at FY 2015 would take Standard Bank up to around 11.8 million customers at FY 2016 – far ahead of any other bank in the country.

Absa, meanwhile, reported client numbers at 8.75 million, down from the 8.9 million customers reported at interim 2016.

South Africa’s fastest growing bank Capitec, is yet to release its updated client numbers, which is expected when it posts its full year results for the year ended February 2017.

However, in a recent press statement, the bank revealed that it has been adding over 120,000 new customers a month, which would equate to around 360,000 new additions in the three months since its interim results in September 2016.

These additions would take Capitec’s client numbers to around 8.3 million at the end of December 2016, maintaining its spot as the third largest bank in the country. Capitec could not confirm the figure as it is in its closed period.

SA Banking customers

Bank December 2015 June 2016 December 2016
Standard Bank 11.6 million 11.8 million
Absa Bank 9.4 million 8.9 million 8.8 million
Capitec 7.3 million 7.9 million 8.3 million
FNB 7.2 million 7.4 million 7.7 million
Nedbank 7.4 million 7.7 million 7.4 million

Read: Capitec is adding 120,000 new customers each month

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