/ 28 September 2012

Capitec eyes new horizons beyond unsecured lending

Capitec is expanding its income streams to include more revenue from transaction fees
Capitec is expanding its income streams to include more revenue from transaction fees

The announcement followed hard on the heels of the bank releasing its interim results for the six months ending August 31, which revealed that year on year the company's gross loan book had risen 70% from R14.5billion to R24.7billion.

In the past six months the bank added an average of 90 000 new clients a month, bringing in a total of 4.2million customers or an increase of 31%.

At the same time, Capitec saw a decline in arrears as a percentage of total loans and advances to 4.4%, down from 4.5% in August 2011 and 5.1% in February 2012, according to its results statement.

<strong><a href="http://mg.co.za/article/2012-09-28-00-anc-stands-to-benefit-from-r1bn-capitec-bank-bonanza" target="_blank">ANC could benefit from R1bn Capitec Bank bonanza</a></strong>

Capitec is expanding its income streams to include more revenue from transaction fees, alongside its earnings from interest on credit.

Income from transaction fees for the first six months rose to R583million, a increase of 61% year on year. Income from credit, meanwhile, increased by 37% to R3.6billion.

"The bank is focused on acquiring full banking clients over its traditional loan clientele," Capitec chief executive Riaan Stassen said. The company has also seen an increase in higher-income earners taking up its products.

Lending-only clients
Customers using savings and transaction products reached 3.1million, whereas "lending-only clients" totalled 1.1million or 26% of active clients, according to the bank.

There is continued concern over the rapid growth in unsecured lending, with the "big four" banks starting to compete aggressively on Capitec's turf. Questions have also been raised over the levels of indebtedness among miners in areas such as Marikana and the role this has played in high wage demands.

The growth in unsecured lending should be considered against the background of the restructuring of the market since the National Credit Act was introduced in 2007, said Stassen. The Act has seen a reduction in the cost of credit, making it available to a wider market.

Increased affordability, plus growing disposable income, means the upturn in unsecured lending has not resulted in borrowers becoming overindebted, the bank said.

In an interview with Moneyweb, Stassen said concerns in the platinum sector would affect how it assessed credit applications in the platinum belt. The bank rates employers as part of its credit scoring model and in instances where an industry or employer is experiencing difficulties, the bank rerates customers employed in that sector.