Africa’s biggest bank to add 40% more clients

Standard Bank Group Ltd. has a presence in over twenty countries on the African continent and is keen on expanding its client base by up to 10 million across those countries in the course of the next four years. 

Renowned as Africa’s biggest lender, Standard Bank hopes to increase its customer base by adding more digitally-inclined customers, sealing new partnerships with distributors, and also expanding its range of offerings. 

“We are targeting over 25 million highly active and highly digital clients,” Funeka Montjane, a divisional CEO for the bank, said in a statement on Friday.

Standard Bank has been in operation for 158 years and has recently increased its geographical presence in its key market, South Africa, a location responsible for well over half of its profits. While the bank has a total of 15 million customers, over 9.7 million are within South Africa.

The Johannesburg-based lender sees an opening and a chance for growth, especially in its consumer and high net-worth unit. This previously untapped market segment has approximately over 600 million potential customers in the different nations where the bank has a presence.

According to a report, its 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.” By that same year, Standard Banks plans to exit its London-based subsidiary, ICBC Standard Bank Plc.

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