Standard Bank reported a robust set of results for the year ended 31 December 2021, with growth in headline earnings of 57% to R25 bn. This was on the back of a 9% increase in its customer base.
These results follow a prolonged lockdown period as a result of Covid-19, which was characterized by severely constrained business activity. However, the recent turnaround was driven by strong growth in home loans, vehicle and asset finance, as well as business loans.
A substantial decline in credit charges also gave a boost to the banking division’s earnings, which grew by 62% to R22.9 bn. This enabled the group to more than double the final dividend payout to 511c, with management confident that the economy will grow by 2% in 2022 underpinned by strong gains across commodities.
The move to purchase the Liberty Insurance group for around R11 bn is part of its vision to create a fully-fledged Pan-African financial services business. This will entail a comprehensive offering of banking, asset management, insurance and wealth management.
Standard Bank believes that its extensive footprint across Africa has the potential to ultimately serve up to 700 million clients based on the markets where it has an operational presence.
Group CEO, Sim Tshabalala, stated that this business model will bring about additional capital-light revenues, away from the more traditional capital-heavy banking business. This should free up resources in due course once the Liberty acquisitions become fully integrated into the group, which will take time to bed down. Once complete, the integrated sales force should result in the cross-selling of an extensive range of products and services.