Why SA's Capitec is Best Bank in the World

Capitec bank has partnered with the department of home affairs to beat financial fraud. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Capitec bank has partnered with the department of home affairs to beat financial fraud. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - The rise of Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] as South Africa’s leading bank seems to have no end with the bank now regarded as the Best Bank in the World.

This is according to the Lafferty Group’s 2017 Global Bank Quality Benchmarking study. It ranks 100 major quoted banks across 32 countries for their longer-term sustainability and gives its highest ratings to banks that focus on serving their clients’ needs in retail and corporate banking.

It found that South Africa’s banks achieved the highest rankings for the second year in a row. The Lafferty Group’s ratings are based on information available in the public domain such as each bank’s business model, assessed in terms of factors like strategy, culture and management.

Capitec was awarded Lafferty Group's highest 5-star rating, Absa achieved four stars, and FirstRand, Standard and Nedbank were given three stars.

"Capitec is a remarkable bank in that it is the only bank anywhere in the world among those we have rated that qualifies for a 5-star rating," Lafferty group CEO Michael Lafferty told Fin24.

"It has very high financial ratios and also scores very highly in qualitative criteria like strategy, culture, customer satisfaction, management experience and living the brand. Most of all it is a highly focused bank."

Lafferty explained that being focused is something that other banks can also leverage in order to climb up the rankings.

"Unlike the big universal banks of Europe and the US – that seem to want to do everything and usually fail to do anything particularly well – Capitec has its eye on the emerging South African consumer and knows how to serve them well."

Capitec Bank CEO Gerrie Fourie said in a statement on Tuesday that the bank's rating confirms it’s on the right track to build the best retail bank in the world.

“We value this recognition because it’s based on information available in the public domain and represents an objective view of our company, while validating the trust that our clients put in the Capitec brand."

Capitec's management team thanked its employees for their diligent pursuit to offer clients simple, affordable and transparent banking that helps them manage their money better.

"For us, this is just the start of the journey,” said Fourie.

Capitec's share price was up 0.33% at R796.01.

Capitec achieved a record growth of 1.3 million new clients for the financial year to February 2017. Despite a tough operating environment, the bank reported 18% growth in headline earnings to R3.8bn and the annual dividend declared of 1250 cents was 18.5% higher.

The bank also announced its maiden venture into international markets with the purchase of a 40% stake in Creamfinance for €21m.

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