JOHANNESBURG – With the last of the ‘Big 4’ banks publishing their financial outcomes on Thursday, audit and advisory firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) said that combined, they represented “a solid set of results” with a joint headline earnings of R76.1-billion through to 31 December 2017.
This figure is up to 5.2% from the previous year and 11.6% from the first half of 2017, showing an improvement in performance in the second half of the year, according to PwC’s Major Banks Analysis Report that was published on Friday.
The study looked at the big retail banks; Standard Bank, Barclays Africa, Nedbank and FirstRand. Investec and Capitec were excluded due to their different reporting period and structures.
PwC attributed net interest income as key driver of earnings growth, which grew by 3.8% year on year.
“This is a credible performance given challenging market conditions over the period and particularly in view of the elevated levels of term funding, liquidity costs and competitive funding pressures seen during 2017,” Banking and Capital Markets Industry Leader for PwC Africa Costa Natsas in a press statement.
The Big 4 need to strike a balance between managing costs and investing in the digital race, with the launch of three new banks in 2018- Tyme, Bank Zero and Discovery- who will focus on digital performance.