Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Can I trust government with my savings?

Although the bank's revenue took a knock, Van der Merwe said they were expecting better results in the next financial year.

At July, its net profit after tax was R213 million.

Van der Merwe said the bank's year-to-date net interest income (NII) was 13% below the same period in the prior year, despite increased cash and investment positions.

"This is mainly due to the subdued interest rate environment. The NII for the year is projected to be lower than [the] 2020 financial year for the same reason. [Our] year-to-date non-interest-revenue is flat year-on-year; however, it is projected to be higher than the 2020 financial year achievement due to new initiatives," he said.

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Van der Merwe said a 3% increase in operating expenses was mainly driven by employee related expenditure.

"In line with the strategy to capacitate the bank with critical skills, the number of appointments led to an increase in employment related costs. Postbank paid tax for the first time as a separate company during the 2020 financial year. The 2021 first provisional tax is only due in September 2020," he said.

Deputy finance minister David Masondo, tasked with the establishment of a new state bank, said in February all the "quasi state banks" owned by government, including the Postbank and various provincial banks, would be consolidated to create a new state bank.

The new bank would help poor, rural people and small businesses to get access to finance, he added.

The Postbank waived fees chargeable to South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries in March 2020, resulting in a R9 million revenue loss.

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