Helping people buy a home is one of the most important roles we play in society. A home provides shelter and dignity for families and provides an opportunity to build intergenerational wealth. Standard Bank is a major provider of home loans in South Africa, with a 34% market share.
The Financial Sector Code requires banks to provide affordable housing for consumers who earn a gross monthly income of between R3 500 and R23 300. Our affordable housing book is valued at around R25 billion. In 2018, we registered 4 958 new affordable home loans. As the largest lender in the affordable housing sector, we have assisted 96 359 customers to purchase a new home since 2008.
We offer our affordable housing mortgage customers online or classroom-based training to help manage their home ownership obligations. Training is provided by external service providers and funded by the bank. In 2018, 726 customers participated in the programme.
Despite South Africa’s tough economic conditions, 88% of our affordable housing customers are keeping up with their repayments. We’re working with 7% of our customers who are showing signs of struggling to service their home loan to get back on track, providing them with alternative options that include a pause on their loan, an extension on the loan terms or a reduced repayment. In 2018, 2 054 home loans were restructured to keep families in their homes.
We do everything we can to help our customers stay in their homes. However, in 2018, we regrettably had to enter legal processes with 5% of our customers who were in default, after all alternative arrangements had been exhausted. Over the past two years, we have undertaken a wide range of engagements with government officials, members of Parliament, and civil society groups to gain a better understanding of what we as a bank can do to try to prevent mortgage defaults. Our group social and ethics committee has mandated various areas within the bank to communicate more proactively with stakeholders regarding the processes followed in cases of default, and the various options available to customers, including loan restructuring and assisted sales. We have also increased our focus on ensuring the courts have the relevant information on steps taken to try to assist clients in distress prior to taking the matter to court. We continue to work with National Treasury, Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation and other relevant stakeholders to try to develop practical and sustainable solutions. We recognise the need to provide more regular, user-friendly communication to customers, to better support understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and how they can access assistance when payments first fall behind. We’re working with Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation to improve our communication in this regard.
In Uganda, Stanbic Bank has launched a partnership with the Buganda Land Board to provide an affordable financing solution, Kyapa Loans, to enable bibanja holders to acquire land titles. Bibanja holders can approach the Buganda Land Board’s Lease Access Financing initiative (LAFI) offices to survey and authenticate their land. LAFI will provide them with a letter of recommendation to the bank and an invoice of total cost, which will be presented to the bank for financing. Once tenants have proper leasehold titles, they can use this as collateral to access further bank finance, to enable building work or renovation, for example. The solution is available to both salaried and self-employed customers. Repayment is over 24 months at a competitive interest rate. The entire loan acquisition process is completed in under 48 hours.
|a.||A Section 129 notice is the first step in the legal process when one has defaulted on a loan repayment. It is the notice issued in terms of Section 129 of the National Credit Act (NCA), advising a consumer that they are in arrears of a certain amount in unpaid instalment(s) at a given date. A credit provider, or an attorney appointed by the credit provider, may issue notice according to Section 129 of the NCA at any time after the client has been in arrears for more than 20 business days. The credit provider may not proceed with any legal action without having fully complied with NCA requirements as contemplated in Sections 129 and 130.|
|b.||An order to appear before a judge or magistrate.|
|c.||Decision by the court.|
|d.||The transfer of the property to the creditor or the sale of such property to recover outstanding debt.|
Standard Bank is keeping pace with rapid technological change by partnering with fintech companies to introduce safe and secure financial solutions in a responsible manner.
We’ve developed a sourcing and scouting model to identify fintech companies which have the potential to provide solutions to better serve customers and business supported by an engagement framework with clear guidelines and principles for business to execute. We have an internal fintech working group, with shared capabilities to identify the most suitable fintech partners. Our fintech investment portfolio includes utility providers, enhanced payment capabilities, lending businesses and technology providers.
Our digital wallets and apps, including Instant Money, SnapScan, Masterpass, Shyft and WeChat wallet, enable our customers to transact efficiently, safely and conveniently, while Business Online provides convenient digital banking for small businesses.
The World Bank’s Findex Report 2018 notes that 42.6% of adults (over the age of 15) in sub-Saharan Africa now have a bank account, up from 34.2% in 2014. 32.8% have an account at a formal financial institution, while 20.9% have a mobile money account, up from just 11.6% in 2014. While this represents an impressive improvement in just a few years, more than half the adult population across Africa is still excluded from the formal financial system. Even among those with bank accounts, many rely solely on family and friends or informal micro-lenders when they need credit, and many consider personal or business insurance an unaffordable luxury. Nonetheless, the Findex report notes that ‘the power of financial technology to expand access to and use of accounts is demonstrated most persuasively in sub-Saharan Africa’, where 34% of adults have made or received digital payments in the past year.
Customers can deposit cash at an ATM, at any time, to any Standard Bank account, without using an ATM card. The service is available in all our Africa Regions countries with the exception of Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mauritius. The service removes the need for customers to visit bank branches and deposits don’t have to be made during branch hours.
Customers can shop online using the mobile banking app, with an additional layer of security. This provides ease and security for customers without credit cards.
Enables affordable transfers from South Africa to Mozambique. Amounts transferred from Mukuru in South Africa are credited to current accounts at Standard Bank in Mozambique, or collected at no cost from a branch. The fixed rate of 10% for a transfer is significantly lower than the average of 16.3% on money transfers between the countries.
Foreign nationals in Nigeria can open bank accounts with Stanbic IBTC and transact from another country, at low cost and in real time. The service can be used in France, Germany, Israel and Italy.
is a digital assistant for customers that can assist with account opening, balance enquiries, general enquiries and ‘A Quick Chat’. Customers can access SAMI through Stanbic IBTC Chatbot, on Facebook or Facebook Messenger.
enables customers to pay school fees using a feature phone, with no need to visit a branch or to know account numbers, as they simply use the merchant ID.
offers the flexibility of pay-as-you-go, with no monthly admin fee, together with a Visa card which can be used globally.
enables SMEs to accept digital payments from users who have loaded their wallets from Mobile Money, currently available in Ghana.
is a digital payment wallet for our Namibian customers.