A Capitec banker uses one of its ATMs. Photo: Supplied.
Cape Town – Capitec recorded steady growth in the year to the end of February, lifting headline earnings by 18 percent to R3.8 billion and adding on 1.3 million new clients, bringing the number of active clients to 8.6 million.

The bank said headline earnings per share had increased by 18 percent, to 3 281 cents, during the year as it continued to expand its branch, ATM and digital footprint.

Capitec said there was plenty of evidence of financial stress on customers during the year with a significant increase in debt review applications and retrenchment letters received.

“There was also an increase in clients who received their salaries late or experienced reduced or no inflows,” the bank said.

Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that the Capitec credit card was launched in September 2016.

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So far, the bank said, it had performed within its “risk appetite”. Its first credit card under its belt it might seem the obvious next step would be to look overseas.

The big news in this respect, Capitec’s expansion beyond the borders of South Africa, came after the end of the reporting period.

The company announced earlier this month that it was acquiring a 40 percent interest in Cream Finance, a multinational online technology-driven consumer loans company.

A final dividend of 800 cents per share was declared, bringing the total dividend for the year to 1 250 cents per share, up from 1 055 the year before.