Not much to get excited about
The results for Nedbank and Standard Bank both showed slightly improved impairment levels, suggesting not so much improved financial health of customers but rather cautious lending from the banks. Both also had disaster areas: Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) for Nedbank and Liberty for Standard. But what stands out for me is their cost-to-income ratios sitting at 56.9% and 57% respectively. Both banks want this in the low 50s, but that’s a long way off and is going to be very hard to achieve and will take years. If they can do it, profits will boom, but for now legacy banks, while profitable, do not excite me.