Financial Services

Divisional overviews
Financial Services

Japie van Niekerk<

Japie van Niekerk
Chief executive

Trading profit grew
by 1.0%
Bidvest Bank’s corporate
advances increased by 13%
deposits grew by 27%
Bidvest Insurance
delivered a
strong result
The balance of the
financial services
businesses delivered
a reasonable result
Salient features

Salient features

  • The division consists of Bidvest Bank, Bidvest Insurance, Bidvest Life and various other financial services. The flat year-on-year performance was largely as a result of the expiry of a major fleet contract, the termination of a major short-term rental contract and the negative new business drag from the fast-growing life insurance activities. Costs were well controlled, increasing only 1.6% year-on-year.
  • The investment portfolio performed better than last year, while merchant acquiring, business banking, trade finance and treasury related businesses delivered good growth.
  • The leased assets declined by 1%.
  • The Bank delivered improvements in key banking ratios, with the Credit Loss ratio improving by 40 basis points to negative 0.2%, the Capital Adequacy ratio increasing by 70 basis points to 20.7% and the Net Stable Funding ratio improving from 102% to 141%. The cost to income ratio deteriorated somewhat to 64.9%.
  • Bidvest Insurance focused on core product lines and Bidvest Life grew strongly.
  • The financial services businesses result was boosted by bolt-on acquisitions made during the year to broaden the product offering. Compendium reported a strong result and FinGlobal, which was acquired during the year, delivered better than expected.

Strategic focus

Fleet management remains a strategic focus area for Bidvest Bank. The banking unit is also focusing on sustainable growth, and to unleash the synergies that can be extracted between and within the various businesses. Customer service and retention remains a strong feature, while innovative new product introductions have gained momentum and are finding acceptance in the market.


Bidvest Bank currently holds a Level 3 rating on the requisite FSC Codes. The score achieved for management control is low and attention is being placed in this area for an improvement. However, 100% of placements at middle management level were black and skills spend for the year amounted to R10 million. Procurement from BEE compliant businesses remain a challenge with this division being affected mostly by the poor ratings of some suppliers. Additional projects under Enterprise and Supplier development are being identified and will be implemented in the coming year.


Despite a healthy fleet management contract pipeline, and although there were no conversions of major fleet contracts during the year due to slow decision making in the public sector, the division will remain focused on the larger fleet contracts to be awarded in the new year.

It is expected that the new business banking offering as well as the recently expanded treasury services, and merchant acquiring clients should drive future growth. Bidvest Insurance is pursuing exciting new channels and products, while Bidvest Life is expected to turn profitable during the year.

Our story

An ongoing evolution

Bidvest Bank is an entrepreneurial bank born to change the way financial institutions do business with their customers. Over the past 20 years it has evolved to provide customers with a diverse range of banking products and services. The evolution began in 1998, when Bidvest acquired the Rennies Group, including the Rennies Foreign Exchange bureau de change business.

Rennies Bank was rebranded Bidvest Bank in 2007 and increased its banking and financial expertise

Customer approach was brought to life by the repositioning of the Bank's brand with the entrepreneurial philosophy of 'Let's Get it Done'

Since acquiring its banking license, Bidvest Bank's operating income has grown from R149 million to R1.2 billion

A banking licence was obtained in 2000 and Rennies Bank was able to expand its travel foreign exchange-focussed customer base by launching MoneyGram international money transfers in South Africa.

Rennies Bank was rebranded Bidvest Bank in 2007 and increased its banking and financial expertise.

The World Currency Card™, Bidvest Bank's flagship travel forex offer, was launched in South Africa in 2008 and in the same year the online international payments platform for businesses with import and export requirements began operations.

Savings and investment accounts were added in 2009, and the Bank's specialist fleet finance and management division was acquired from McCarthys.

2010 was dedicated to fine-tuning the Bank's lending and credit expertise and, in 2011, a personal bank account was launched.

The business banking value proposition, including trade finance solutions, was launched in 2015 and, in 2016, the Bank's 'can-do' attitude and 'action-oriented' customer approach was brought to life by the repositioning of the Bank's brand with the entrepreneurial philosophy of 'Let's Get it Done'. This expresses the commitment made to customers and all stakeholders – to always endeavour to find a solution, rather than to focus on obstacles.

In 2017 merchant services was added to the range of banking offerings, through the acquisition of First Data Resources South Africa, substantially enhancing the business banking value proposition.

Bidvest Bank has evolved from a bureau de change business into a fully-fledged bank focusing on business and personal banking, fleet and asset finance, and treasury solutions.

Since acquiring its banking license, Bidvest Bank's operating income has grown from R149 million to R1.2 billion and, in 2018, was classified as the fastest growing bank, by assets, in South Africa.

The Bank forms part of the Bidvest Financial Services division, where its evolutionary story has been replicated in a fully-fledged offering including life and short-term insurance; commercial brokerage services; pension fund administration and asset management.

The financial services business has been built by offering a sustainable solution to servicing an increasingly demanding market. This approach has led Bidvest Financial Services to its present position – a business with strong financial standing that is well-placed for future growth.