Africa

Tough year ahead for SA, warns FirstRand – but Africa is booming


FirstRand CEO Alan Pullinger.

FirstRand CEO Alan Pullinger.

FirstRand CEO Alan Pullinger has warned of a tough year ahead for the group and its customers in SA, as interest rates at a 14-year high and continued inflationary pressures weigh on consumers, dampening demand for loans and raising the risk of higher credit losses.

Pullinger, who has been at the helm of SA’s largest banking group since 2018, made the comments shortly after FirstRand reported a 12% rise in normalised attributable profit to R36.7 billion for the year to end-June. The group also declared an annual dividend of 384c, 12% higher than the previous year, and said its core underlying businesses units – FNB, RMB, WesBank and Aldermore in the UK – remained resilient despite the economic headwinds.

“The next 12 months are going to be tough – all of the things that are causing pain are probably still going to be there over the next 12 months,” Pullinger told News24.

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