Home » South African billionaire Michiel Le Roux’s Capitec Bank hits 22 million active clients

South African billionaire Michiel Le Roux’s Capitec Bank hits 22 million active clients

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Michiel Le Roux

Key Points:

  • South African bank co-founded by billionaire Michiel Le Roux surpasses competitors, reaching 22 million active clients.
  • Capitec’s mobile app users (11.2 million) near Standard Bank’s entire client base, highlighting its digital edge.
  • Bank extends lead with 16% profit surge and “fully banked” clients exceeding Nedbank and rivals.

Capitec Bank, a leading retail bank co-founded and partly owned by South African billionaire Michiel Le Roux, has achieved a significant milestone, equaling the combined client base of Standard Bank, Absa, and Discovery Bank.

As of February 29, 2024, Capitec reported 22 million active clients, a 10-percent increase from the previous year. This solidifies its position as South Africa’s largest retail bank. Capitec now has over 10 million more clients than its closest competitor, Standard Bank. Its active client base equals the total South African clients of Standard Bank, Absa, and Discovery Bank combined.

Digital engagement and growth

Capitec’s growth over the past decade has been remarkable, particularly in its digital services. The bank has 11.2 million active users on its mobile app, nearly matching Standard Bank’s total South African client base of 11.4 million. This figure represents nearly 30 percent of South Africans over the age of 18. The bank is adding more than 180,000 new app clients monthly, indicating robust digital engagement. Despite its origins in lending, the bank now has only 1.4 million credit clients.

In comparison, Absa and FNB have 9.8 million and 9.6 million clients, respectively. FNB’s figures exclude 6.57 million active eWallets, which are not considered standard bank accounts, though FNB also has another 1.8 million eWallets held by active customers. Nedbank, which does not disclose its total active customer base, reports 3.2 million “main-banked clients,” while TymeBank claims nine million customers, though not all may be currently active.

Capitec extends lead as profit surges 16 percent

Capitec Bank further cemented its dominance in South Africa’s banking sector with a 16-percent increase in headline earnings to R10.58 billion ($550.8 million) for the fiscal year ended Feb. 29, 2024. The growth was driven by rising non-interest income, highlighting the bank’s strength beyond traditional lending.

Founded in 2001 by Michiel Le Roux, Jannie Mouton, and Riaan Stassen, Capitec offers transactional banking services along with a suite of loan products including term loans, credit facilities, and credit cards. The bank boasts 7.8 million “fully banked” clients, exceeding Nedbank’s main-banked clients by nearly 50 percent and eclipsing similar categories at other major South African lenders like FNB, Absa, and Standard Bank.

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