More customers repaying their debt, but certain 'pockets' are still struggling - Standard Bank

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Stndard Bank building.
 Photo: Gallo Images/Foto24/Brendan Croft
Stndard Bank building. Photo: Gallo Images/Foto24/Brendan Croft

Standard Bank says it has identified "pockets of pressure" among its clients who are struggling to service their debt after repayment holidays came to an end for most customers few months ago.

The bank says it has noted pressure within personal unsecured lending, which includes personal loans, credit cards and overdraft customers.

A continued increase in retrenchments, meanwhile, has also triggered some accounts to move to non-performing loans status.

But the bank said there is some light at the end of the tunnel, as fewer people are still in need of payment holidays to make ends meet.

Standard Bank said that, as of October 31, only 8% of its Personal & Business Banking (PBB) clients were still in need of relief. The PBB's relief portfolio in SA declined to R47 billion at the end of October from the R107 billion that the bank reported during its interim results for the six months ended on 30 June. Some 80% of the loans that are still under payment relief are secured credit agreements such as home and vehicle finance loans.

"The lapsed client relief portfolio continues to reflect strong payment behaviour and has performed in line with our previous expectations," wrote Standard Bank in a trading update.

Outside SA, Standard Bank said the client relief portfolio in Personal & Business Banking in Africa Regions had also declined, to R4 billion from R11 billion at the end of June. This means only 4% of outstanding loans in the Africa Regions remained under payment relief.

The bank said requests for relief from Corporate & Investment Banking clients had tapered off. Relief granted to corporate and investment clients stood at R24 billion on 31 October.

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