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FNB WANTS to change the “scary” statistic that only about 10percent of the country’s population earn more than R300000 by transforming the concept of money management, Raj Makanjee, the chief executive of FNB Retail, said at the bank’s “Navigating the future of money management and wellness” event in Cape Town on Monday.

FNB is expanding the functionality of its banking app to allow customers to set and track their savings, health and fitness goals.

The new functionality is a continuation of the “nav» journey” that began in 2016, when FNB introduced nav»Home, followed by nav»Car and, more recently, nav»Money.

The bank has since helped to put more than 10000 families in homes through nav»Home, while nav»Car has 300000 vehicles loaded, and more than 350 000 customers use nav» Money for money management.

Among the new features is nav» Wellness, which helps customers to set up and track their health and fitness journey on the FNB app.

Jolandé Duvenage, nav» chief imagineer (chief executive), said: “We all need a helping hand to navigate life. Our commitment is to play the role of a trusted partner to actively and sustainably support each of our customers on their journey.

“We understand that help is centred around the delivery of meaningful customer value, and these innovations confirm that we are committed to helping our customers navigate through all parts of their life journey,” said Duvenage.

Makanjee said only 10 percent of South Africans earn more than R300 000 a year, “which is quite a scary statistic; it is materially different to many countries we want to be compared to”.

He said that FNB hopes to see this profile change in the next 10 years.

“We see our role in helping to transform to this concept of money management. Money management for us is about helping people understand money better and understanding how they make financial decisions. I think the biggest challenge for South Africa is that money is not taught at school or at university. Generations and generations of parents don’t really understand the concepts of money and things we as bankers take for granted, and we can see it in the behaviour of our clients,” he said.

“The challenge we have in South Africa is that too many people are stuck in the transact/spend conundrum where they are actually not saving enough.”

FNB’s research last year found that, of its customers who earn between R7000 and R60 000 a month, more than 50 percent cannot make it beyond the fifth day of the month because they are not making ends meet.

This year, FNB research found that customers who earn between R7 000 and R60 000 a month allocated about 35 percent of their monthly cash flow to servicing interest on their debt - in some cases, 80 percent of their cash flow went to servicing interest, said Makanjee.

He said although high bank fees were a challenge, the “real issue” was the things that result in debt, including the cost of interest, the cost of transport and food.

PERSONAL FINANCE