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The Banking Sector
There were 42 banking institutions, excluding registered foreign bank representatives, registered with the Prudential Authority in May 2019, an increase from 36 institutions a year earlier. There are 30 foreign banks with approved representative offices in South Africa. Total assets of all types of registered banks stood at R5.74-trillion in May, a year-on-year increase of 11.1%. South Africa’s banking sector is still highly concentrated with the five largest banks holding over 90% of total assets in February 2019. Capitec Bank’s customer base and market capitalisation continue to grow ahead of its large competitors.
Banks are not only facing increasing pressure from Capitec as technology-based banks are entering the sector. Commercial banks are facing increasing competition from fintech companies that are taking over traditional activities like payments, lending, deposits, asset management, and even advisory services. Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank are closing down or downsizing branches to control rising operating costs and in response to customers’ increasing use of online and mobile banking services. New digital banks including Discovery Bank, Bank Zero and TymeBank and mobile money apps and services provided by telecoms and retail companies will be forcing commercial banks to intensify efforts to continue modernising technology platforms.
The focus of this report is the South African banking industry and includes information on other credit granting, lease financing, vehicle financing, and loyalty and reward programmes. It includes comprehensive information on the state and size of the sector including the central bank, commercial banks and new banks, regulatory developments and corporate actions. There are profiles of 92 companies. These include the major commercial banks as well as institutions such as the former South African Bank of Athens, now trading as Grobank after the acquisition by GroCapital and African Bank, which has been under Reserve Bank control after it was nearly liquidated in 2014. Profiles also include companies offering financial services such as Woolworths, Vodacom and MTN.