FNB insights show that the current financial position of the average middle-income consumer is similar to the levels it recorded in February 2020 before the national lockdown was implemented.
It said that this could be attributed to the sustained reduction of interest rates and the relaxation of lockdown levels.
“The lockdown has been the toughest experience for consumers, emotionally and financially,” said chief executive of FNB Retail and Private Banking Raj Makanjee.
“However, the income recovery and improving cash flow among middle-income consumers bodes well for the economy as middle-class consumers have significant spending power.”
“The timely adjustment of interest rates has been instrumental in cushioning consumers who are servicing debt against severe financial difficulty.”
FNB said that the average income of those who work at SMEs with less than 10 employees was most affected by the lockdown.
It said that about half of those employed by these SMEs have seen a drop of at least 15% in their average income, whereas this is only the case for one in five people employed by companies with at least 1,000 employees.
Continued effort needed to help South Africans
FNB said that while the overall income recovery trends are encouraging, it is aware that many still face difficulties due to the effect of the national lockdown.
Therefore, it continues to make its resources and platforms available to its customers to help them manage their money effectively.
“Specific spending solutions across our customers’ credit, essential and lifestyle spending are assessed for each customer to determine how best we can assist them, furthermore, we are helping customers to align their spending to the things that are important to them in order to achieve their financial goals,” said Makanjee.
“Additionally, our eBucks Rewards continues to provide real help and timely relief to customers during this period. We’ve also expanded our eBucks benefits for seniors to offer extra support to our senior customers.”
“In the coming weeks, we expect to introduce more platform-based tools to give customers even more control over their budgets,” said Makanjee.