A new report conducted by PwC shows that South Africa’s major banks deliver sustained growth amidst difficult operating environment, while they continued to invest in tech and IT to further digitise their platforms.

Combined headline earnings up 5.1% since 1H18 (up 8.7% on an annualised basis since FY17), combined ROE of 18.9% (18.8% in 1H18), net interest margin of 4.38% (4.36% in 1H18) and cost-to-income ratio of 56.8% (55.1% in 1H18)

PwC’s Major Banks Analysis presents the highlights of the combined local currency results of Absa, FirstRand, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

Domestically, the second half of 2018 saw the South African economy recover some of the weaknesses experienced in the first half, with modest annualised GDP growth of 0.8% recorded for the year off a low base.

Despite modestly increased consumer spending in the second half, household income growth remained subdued, while business and consumer confidence continued to be depressed as a consequence of, among other factors, higher fuel inflation, increased electricity and water tariffs and the effects of a higher VAT rate.

The 25 basis point interest rate cut in March was reversed in November as US fiscal…

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