CAPE TOWN - FNB Chief executive Jacques Celliers said in an interview yesterday that FNB was still working with the Banking Association of SA, the Competition Commission and the National Credit Regulator (NCR) on solutions for customers who did not qualify for this first phase of its Covid-19 support.
“Phase two of our strategy will be to look at customers who were in financial trouble pre-Covid-19. We are looking at options - we need to find a way to save those customers - but talks are only just beginning.”
Customers who have displayed good banking behaviour pre-Covid-19 would be rewarded. Cilliers said that the bank hoped to “shock absorb” its good clients, who constitute up to 80percent of its client base.
“When the doors open again in society, they are the ones who will be kick-starting the economy.”
Cilliers said that operationally, the banking sector was a stable industry, which had remained so, despite any state assistance as banks had received elsewhere.
“No one has helped us. But we’re impressed with the Competition Commission and the NCR - they’ve given us buffer relief and some relaxation.”
Cilliers said that FNB’s investment
in digitising in recent years had really paid off.
“What has been very exciting is that our digital journey is already mature: When load shedding happened, customers were incentivised to take up the digital platforms, so it’s been an incredible journey.
“For our staff, if they have access to the tools, they can work from anywhere. Operationally, only branch staff need to face customers. After next week, once the Sassa payments settle, we expect the demand for front line service to diminish so we’ll reduce staff numbers in our branches.”