'We like competition' – FNB CEO on new entrants in banking sector | Fin24
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'We like competition' – FNB CEO on new entrants in banking sector

Mar 13 2019 05:00
Jan Cronje, Fin24

FNB CEO Jacques Celliers says competition from new banking entrants means the sector as a whole will get better. 

Celliers was speaking to Fin24 on Tuesday afternoon following the release of FirstRand's unaudited interim results for the six months ended December 31, 2018.

FNB announced a pre-tax profit increase of 12% to R12.5bn for the six months ended 31 December 2018, driven mainly by a strong performance from its SA business.

The bank saw growth in the cross-selling of new products, financial transactions on its app and overall transactional volumes in debit and credit card swipes. 

In late 2018 a host of new or refurbished banks started entering the SA market, including TymeDigital, Bank Zero, Discovery Bank, Postbank and African Bank.  

"We are quite blessed as a nation that we have a nice competitive spirit in the market. You don’t want to live in a society where banks are lazy and slow," said Celliers.

"We like competition". 

'We respect them all'

The FNB CEO said the group was looking forward to seeing how the new entrants compete, adding that they were bound to experience "start-up pain" as they navigate the market and try to scale up. 

"Over the years there have been many competitors that came and left," he said, citing Capitec as a onetime new entrant that successfully grew to a position of prominence. 

Celliers said FNB would have to "figure out what is going to come at us" and "be responsive".

But increased competition was a good sign, he said. "We respect them all… we think they will be formidable over time," he said.  

"We want to win Wimbledon when Federer is playing, not when novices play." 

fnb  |  jacques celliers


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