Standard Bank wants to add 40% more clients in 4 years

Standard Bank Group Ltd. is aiming to grow its customer base by at least 10 million across the 20 African countries it operates in over the next four years.

Africa’s biggest lender is looking to add more digitally engaged customers, forge alliances with distribution partners and expand its product offering as it plots a recovery from the the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 158-year-old firm expanded its geographical presence recently amid a sluggish period in South Africa, where it earns more than half its profits.

“We are targeting over 25 million highly active and highly digital clients,” Funeka Montjane, a divisional chief executive officer for the lender, said in a presentation on Friday.

One of the bank’s greatest prospects for growth is its consumer and high net-worth unit “which we consider to be a largely untapped market as we have over 600 million people in the countries in which we operate.”

This includes expanding in informal sectors in sub-Saharan Africa, she said.

The Johannesburg-based company has 9.7 million customers in South Africa and 5.3 million in other countries.

It’s medium-term targets include a cost-to-income ratio trending toward 50% and a return-on-equity target range of between 17% and 20% by 2025. It is also planning to exit London-based venture ICBC Standard Bank Plc by the same year.

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Standard Bank wants to add 40% more clients in 4 years