Financial inclusion is related to economic growth, efficiency, dignity and welfare. Low levels of financial inclusion undermine the integrity of the financial system and pose a risk to socioeconomic development. We scored 9.95 out of 12 for this element of the scorecard, lower than our scores in 2018 and 2017.
|*||Availability of cash withdrawal facilities per number of qualifying customers based on population density in the agreed measured area.|
Our offering is aligned with the banking behaviour of the majority of South Africans, who increasingly choose digital channels over face-to-face options to conduct their financial transactions. In 2019, 99% of transactions by SBSA customers were conducted digitally. However, SBSA scored only 14% against a target of 35% for electronic access for people earning up to R6 880 per month, owing to the specific parameters against which the indicator is assessed.
Digital solutions enable us to meet human needs and to further human aspirations, in a costeffective and sustainable manner. Our digital wallets and apps enable our customers to transact efficiently, safely and conveniently.
As our clients move increasingly toward digital channels and away from the use of branch-based services, we need to adjust accordingly.
In line with changing customer behaviour, we closed 90 branches in South Africa in 2019. Fewer than 100 employees were formally retrenched. Many of the impacted employees were successfully redeployed to other roles in the bank. 920 opted for voluntary retrenchment.
We currently have 528 branches in South Africa, and are investing in the development of 244 of our most used branches, to better meet our customers’ needs. We continue to work with our clients to raise awareness of alternative options to branch services, while acknowledging that some people prefer to use a physical branch for certain banking requirements.