Capitec is now the second biggest bank in South Africa

Absa recently published its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2017, showing a 7% rise in its half-year profit – despite the economic downturn.

The bank also broke down its current client figures, reporting a slight year-on-year drop in total banking customers in South Africa from 9.5 million in June 2016, to 9.3 million in 2017.

Transactional customers were down from 6.25 million to 5.95 million, and business customers were down to 352,000 from 366,000 previously, the bank said.

Looking at total retail customers, though, Absa reported its number of retail customers at 8.65 million, continuing the slow decline seen in previous reporting periods.

At June 2016, Absa’s retail clients totalled 8.9 million customers, dropping to 8.8 million by the end of its financial year (December 2016).

Where does this put SA banks?

Speaking to BusinessTech on Tuesday, Capitec revealed that, as at June 2017, it has just hit nine million retail customers – thus surpassing Absa by some margin.

In reporting its full year results for the year ended February 2017, Capitec said that it added 1.3 million customers in the preceding 12 months to take it to 8.6 million customers. It added 400,000 more customers in the next five months to June 2017.

“We are very happy with exceeding the nine million Capitec clients milestone. We are however not in the business of competing for size. Instead, we value the strong brand affinity and positive engagement with our clients. This validates our efforts to help them bank better and live better,” said Francois Viviers, executive of marketing and communications at Capitec.

The table below shows the latest-reported data from the country’s largest banks. Nedbank will be releasing its interim results on 2 August 2017, with Standard Bank to follow on 17 August 2017. FirstRand is expected release its full year results in September.

Latest retail customer numbers

Bank June 2016 December 2016 June 2017
Standard Bank 11.8 million
Capitec 7.9 million 8.3 million 9.0 million
Absa Bank 8.9 million 8.8 million 8.65 million
FNB 7.4 million 7.7 million
Nedbank 7.7 million 7.4 million

It should be noted that client numbers are only one metric to look at when looking at the ‘biggest’ banks – check out a more in-depth comparison here: Battle of the banks: how SA’s big five banks compare

Capitec has been recorded major client growth over the past few years, catapulting it to the third largest bank in the country by client numbers by the end of 2016, overtaking both FNB and Nedbank.

According to Capitec, it has made inroads in drawing in more affluent clients in the middle and upper markets, which has been bolstered by the addition of a credit offering attached to its only Global One bank account.

South Africa’s banks have reported mixed results with this market, with FNB reporting a dip in these customers to explain its declining numbers, with Standard Bank also mentioning in its full year reporting that it had lost some customers in the middle market, despite its overall growth of 2%.

Absa has reported more success here, with the latest results showing a 12% jump in this market segment.

Affluent clients are those who earn more than R300,000 a year.


Read: How much the average employee gets paid at SA’s biggest banks

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