Standard Bank Group, the market leader in the home loans segment, says it will use its heft to grow its business banking offering, as it seeks to fight off rising competition in the space.

The continent’s biggest lender by assets will look to capitalize on its scale and geographical footprint to drive growth in the division, Chief Executive Officer Sim Tshabalala said during an investor briefing Friday. That includes cross selling a variety financial solutions, including insurance and transactional accounts.

“We’re very well able to take any combination of established competitors and digital insurgents and take them on head on,” he said.

The sector is growing increasingly crowded, with South Africa’s first digital bank TymeBank announcing on Aug. 3 that it is buying small business-focused Retail Capital. African Bank announced in May that it would buy Grindrod Bank.

Tshabalala also said the lender is heightening its focus on climate change, and expects its green loan book to grow to at least R250 billion by the end of 2026, up from an expected R50 billion at the end of this year.

“We have started work on the complex process of quantifying the emissions that we face,” Tshabalala says, adding that the timetable would be announced in “due course.”

Earlier the bank said net income rose 37% in the first six months of the year, helped by rising interest rates and increased client activity.

Standard Bank dropped as much as 2.6%, before paring gains to 2.1% by 2:55 p.m. in Johannesburg. Peers on the FTSE/JSE Africa Bank index slipped 2%, the biggest drop in more than two weeks.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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