Digitally active customers at 6.21 million and digital logins totalled 804 million for the period
FNB has delivered robust interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2021 with pre-tax profits increasing 31% and an improved Return on Equity (ROE) of 39.7%. Operational performance was bolstered by a macroeconomic recovery, deposit growth, and an improved credit performance, coupled with continued platform innovation.
FNB increased its customer numbers by 3% to a combined total of 10.69 million, comprising 8.82 million customers in South Africa and 1.87 million customers in Rest of Africa. eWallet users increased by 6% to 5.95 million. Ongoing investment in its digital platform continues to yield results, with digitally active customers increasing to 6.21 million and logins totalling 804 million for the period. A new record of 89.5 million logins on the App was recorded in the month of December 2021.
Key highlights in FNB’s operational performance include:
• SA pre-tax profits up 28%
• Rest of Africa pre-tax profits up 64%
• Total platform users up 4%
• Return on Equity (ROE) improved to 39.7%
• Total advances up 3%
• Deposits up 9%
• Significant reduction in impairments to R2.96 billion
• Wealth and Investments account base up 12%
• Life new business annual premium equivalent up 20%
• App transacting base exceeds 4.4 million
• eBucks Rewards paid-out R1 billion
Jacques Celliers, FNB CEO, says, “Our interim results demonstrate our ability to help and remain relevant to our retail and commercial customers in every economic context. Our investment in platform innovation puts us in a better position to assist customers across transactional activities, payments, investments, credit, insurance, telecommunications and value-added services such as rewards and lifestyle (nav»). As the country and our customers transition from the past two years of Covid-19 impacts, we expect more opportunities to deliver value to our customers through integrated financial services on our trusted digital platform.”
Retail, which services the needs of individual customers, recorded strong pre-tax profit growth of 38% with good deposit and customer growth, reduced impairments and impressive product innovation. Commercial pre-tax profits increased by 19%, supported by a rebound in transactional activity, management of impairments and the acquisition of new customers.
Rest of Africa delivered a 64% increase in pre-tax profits with sustained customer growth and improved credit performance. Efforts to accelerate digital migration among customers in Rest of Africa continue to show progress, with digital penetration increasing to 32.8%. Rest of Africa has also expanded the footprint of its Cash Plus service with an additional 492 outlets in the six months to December 2021.
FNB continues to scale its investment activities as Wealth and Investment Management grew its customer base by 12% with assets under management increasing by 17%. The FNB Horizon Series unit trusts recorded good growth of 42%, with more innovative value propositions such as Retirement Annuity, Exchange Traded Notes, and Shares Zero available on the FNB App.
FNB Insurance continues to help customers by proactively paying out valid life insurance claims and investing in digitising the insurance take-up and claims processes. Insurance paid out R1 billion in life insurance claims and policies increased by 5%, while in-force annual premium equivalent (APE) rose by 10%. The launch of short-term homeowners and comprehensive motor insurance provides opportunities to further scale its insurance activities.
“In times like these, it is critical to ensure that claims are paid out proactively and seamlessly in order to reduce unnecessary additional anxiety for customers impacted by unforeseen events. This has been our primary focus during this period, demonstrating our continued dedication to helping customers overcome their specific challenges,” says Celliers.
FNB continues to expand its value to customers with innovative solutions and value-added services. Among its cutting-edge solutions is the Virtual Card on the App, which has seen 1.2 million virtual cards activated with over R2.4 billion in spend values since its launch. FNB is also scaling its growth in device payments, with customers performing 9.7 million transactions worth R3.4 billion in value, during the 6 months to December 2021. nav»Money, a money management tool to track spend and credit status, has seen a 56% increase in usage to reach 2.5 million users, while nav»Home has paid out R33.4 billion to place families in homes since inception. The nav»Car digital garage has loaded 729,000 vehicles and 108,000 vehicle licences were delivered. Third-party electricity, mobile and digital vouchers that are facilitated by FNB Connect on its digital platform increased by 3% to R9.1 billion and FNB Connect provided customers with 3.96 billion megabytes (MB) of data over the 6 months to December 2021.
“As we look ahead, we are encouraged by the green shoots in most sectors of society, and we remain committed to building a sustainable business that contributes positively across all of the markets we serve. Our investment in a nimble platform also allows us to extend goodwill to society through initiatives such as nav»Care where our employees and customers can donate cash and eBucks to causes that are close to their hearts, with over R2 million donated since 2020. We’re also pleased by society’s recognition of our efforts demonstrated, amongst others, through recent accolades such as Most Valuable Brand (BrandZ), Best Loyalty Programme for eBucks (South African Loyalty Awards) and Best SME Bank in SA and Africa (Global Finance),” concludes Celliers.