Banking in Africa matters

African banking survey 2016

In this report, we focus on the challenges facing banks and the strategies being implemented to adapt to new trends, from the perspective of bank CEOs.


We are pleased to launch the 2016 edition of the PwC survey on banking in Africa. Having focused exclusively on South Africa in the previous 13 editions, we have expanded the scope this year to include banks from other African countries as well.

Our survey aims to highlight opportunities and challenges facing banks from the perspective of bank CEOs. In this report, we explore strategies that are being implemented to adapt to new trends, and provide insights on how the banking landscape in Africa may evolve over the coming years.

This survey was developed by PwC South Africa in conjunction with the PwC Market Research Centre in Luxembourg. The online survey was conducted over the months of March to June 2016 and enabled us to collect the opinions of top executives, namely CEOs, CFOs and CROs, of banks operating in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

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Key findings

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Driving forces

Breakthroughs in technology are radically transforming the business and social landscape, and the way in which we live and work.

The political and economic uncertainty, as a well as a strengthened regulatory environment, are major forces influencing the banking industry worldwide.

Banking executives recognise that demographic change is one of the most impactful trends, stating that it has a positive affect on their organisations.

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Technology disruption

As new entrants bring more innovative and cost-effective solutions, South African banks consider them a significant threat to their business.

46% of global banks CEOs are engaging or considering to engage with start-ups through partnerships.

Even though FinTech remains a small market in Africa, investments are expected to rise significantly from $200 million in 2014 to $3bn by 2020.

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One of the most important impacts of FinTech is to create new ecosystems, pushing banks to rethink their business model with this motto in mind: customer-centricity.

African banks, particularly in South Africa, have started to implement organisational changes such as integrating customer data across channels in order to promote cross-selling opportunities.

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Cost effectiveness

Large full-scale South African banks achieve ROEs in the 18%-20% range in their retail and CIB businesses.

South African banks achieve cost-to-income (CI) ratios of greater than 50%, but recognise that it should be in the 40 - 50% range in the medium term to remain competitive.

Contact us

Johannes Grosskopf

Johannes Grosskopf

Africa Chief Operating Officer, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4346

Costa  Natsas

Costa Natsas

Partner | Financial Services Industry Leader, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4105

Sam Abu

Sam Abu

Country and Regional Senior Partner, West Africa, PwC Nigeria

Tel: +234 (1) 271 1700

Richard Njoroge

Richard Njoroge

Partner, PwC Kenya

Tel: +254 (20) 285 5604

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