First National Bank has increased the number of South African accounts by 8%, or 542 000, in the year to the end of June, underpinning total account growth of 1,1m. Number of transactions processed climbed by 13%, with fees and commissions up by 14%.
Like its rivals, the bank continues to encourage consumers to move their banking services to electronic services to reduce costs. During the year, the number of e-wallets — which allow for payments between mobile phone users — increased by 72% to 1,8m.
The FirstRand Group, of which FNB is a subsidiary, published its results for the year ended 30 June 2013 on Tuesday and produced strong results overall, growing profit for the year by 9% to R15,7bn and headline earnings by 20% to R15,1bn.
FNB’s strong results were, according to a statement on Tuesday, driven by customer acquisitions, loan and deposit growth, and a focus on driving transactional volumes across all of its platforms, particularly electronic.
Operating costs increased by 9% during the period on the back of continued investment in electronic platforms and the FirstRand Group’s efforts to increase its operating footprint in Africa.
During the period under review residential mortgages grew 3%, which the bank says reflects its deliberate strategy to only originate in low-risk categories, while card issuing grew by 15% on the back of new customer acquisitions and personal loans grew by 10% year-on-year.
On a rolling six-month basis personal loans grew only 2%, reflecting ongoing risk aversion in the face on an ongoing global economic downturn.
FNB’s rewards programme, eBucks, increased its payouts to customers by 32%, to R723m.
The bank says its smartphone app, its cellphone banking banking offering and its e-wallet helped in attracting and retaining customers. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
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