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NEDBANK GROUP ANNUAL REPORT 2009

Sandile Shabalala

NEDBANK BUSINESS BANKING

Sandile has over 21 years’ banking experience, including 16 years at Nedbank. Prior to joining Nedbank he worked for Barclays Bank, NBS Bank and Telkom SA. He has vast experience in retail, smallbusiness, corporate and business banking in both sales and credit banking functions. Prior to his appointment in October 2009 as Managing Executive: Business Banking, Sandile had been leading and managing the Northern Business Unit in Business Banking as Divisional Executive.

Sandile Shabalala (43)
Managing Executive: Business Banking
16 years’ service

 

 

Overview

During the latter part of 2008 Nedbank Business Banking, which was previously a division within Nedbank Corporate, emerged as a separate business cluster in recognition of its size, growth and strategic importance with direct representation on the Group Executive Committee (Group Exco) under the leadership of Ingrid Johnson.

Sandile Shabalala was appointed as the Managing Executive for Business Banking in October 2009, taking over from Ingrid who had led the transformation of this business for the past five years.

Despite the macroeconomic challenges, which resulted in lower volumes (due to companies transacting less, scaling back operations and deferring investments) and more clients experiencing stress, Business Banking remains a large, robust and highly profitable business and as such an area of strategic importance for Nedbank.

Strategy

Nedbank Business Banking operates through a well-entrenched, decentralised accountable business service model, which uniquely positions the business to deliver personalised relationship banking based on local knowledge and a deep understanding of clients’ businesses. Client service teams, comprising sales, service and credit specialists, are located in 67 offices around the country and are therefore able to provide quick responses to client requests and also ensure early identification of risks, thus significantly increasing the opportunity to assist and rehabilitate distressed clients.

With client centricity as a core focus, over the past five years much emphasis has been placed on entrenching client value management principles, including risk-based pricing, aligning systems and processes to make it easier for clients to do business with Business Banking and ensuring superior service levels through investment in people. Ongoing functionality enhancements to Nedbank’s business electronic banking solution (NetBank Business) remain a priority to complement client business processes and their interaction with Business Banking’s client service teams.

Business Banking has recognised the importance of balancing the need to grow market share through new-client acquisition with the imperative of retaining and deepening existing client relationships through cross-selling and providing proactive, innovative solutions. This is seen as fundamental to growing Business Banking non-interest revenue (NIR).

In line with Nedbank’s objective of being a truly SA bank, Business Banking remains committed to employment equity and cultural transformation within the organisation, but also has a strong desire to contribute to the growth of South Africa’s economy through community involvement and enterprise development. Aspirational targets have been set in this regard.

Review of 2009

Nedbank Business Banking remained highly profitable through a very challenging economic climate, generating a return on risk-adjusted capital of 31,4% (2008: 31,5%) and economic profit (EP) of R610 million (2008: R762 million). The cluster produced headline earnings of R1 055 million, down 22,4% year-on-year, principally as a result of R314 million lower post-tax endowment income as Business Banking’s earnings are highly sensitive to interest rate changes. The slowdown in client business activity and a selective reduction in high-risk advances was offset by strong performance in impairments and improved NIR. Expenses were controlled well at an increase of 3,1%.

Business Banking successfully implemented a capital optimisation programme, which resulted in a capital reduction from R4,3 billion to R3,4 billion as the key assumptions for regulatory risk-weighted assets were refined to reflect the underlying quality of actual risk mitigating security and better credit loss data, replacing original benchmarks used. The cluster maintained its focus on quality asset growth from its primary-client base, while proactively managing risk or reducing exposure to high-risk industries and clients, in particular those with only a single Nedbank lending product, resulting in a modest reduction in client assets of 2,9%.

Proactive risk management practices and the decentralised, accountable business model are fundamental to the way Business Banking operates and ensured that impairments were well-managed. The credit loss ratio of 0,52% (2008: 0,59%) remained within its through-the-cycle target range of 0,60% to 0,80%. Unpacking this ratio, the specific impairments charge was well-contained at 0,82% before any changes to portfolio impairments. The portfolio impairments charge benefited from a R162 million release as the change in assumptions for regulatory capital also fed through into the International Financial Reporting Standards assumptions.

Strategic focus areas

With risk proactively managed ahead of the cycle downturn, Business Banking was able to sustain its focus on its clients and people.

Active client engagement ensured Business Banking was responsive to business needs, with client service teams having all the levers to deliver for our clients. Business Banking used the capacity created from lower client volumes to upskill frontline teams and rebalance client portfolios to ensure that service levels are in line with clients’ expectations, needs and values.

The latter was the final enhancement to Business Banking’s decentralised business model. While impacting significantly on both staff and clients, including relationship changes, this is expected to provide significant benefits in terms of improved service levels and more proactive solutions for our clients.

Investment into people continued in 2009 and, while employees no doubt feet the stress of the economic environment on a personal level, Business Banking was able to ensure job security for all performing employees. A talent management process was rolled out, which in 2010 will form the basis for better pipeline management, ensuring that talent is retained and developed, and vacancies are filled quickly from within the organisation. Business Banking further improved its employment equity ratios, albeit to a lesser degree than in previous years given lower churn and more cautious headcount management under tougher economic conditions.

Numerous credit risk interventions were instituted over the years and are ongoing in respect of clients, industry, segments, geography and products, and these are reflected in credit loss being well-contained. These included charging risk-based excess fees to change client behaviour and in 2007 exiting broker-introduced single-product lending.

Innovation is a key emphasis and BMI-T Corporate, an independent market survey, rated Business Banking as most improved on a number of key metrics, including market share, service levels and overall rating of NetBank Business, which is now rated the second-best electronic platform in the market.

Prospects for 2010

The wholesale market typically lags the recovery of the retail segment, with most clients still expected to approach new-business investments with caution. Additional pressure could come from the Eskom tariff increases, which will significantly impact on the cost structure, and hence profitability, of certain industries, while local consumer and export demand will take time to recover fully.

Although 2010 is still expected to be a tough year, Business Banking is in a good position to leverage the solid foundation built over the past five years for sustainable financial performance. The main focus area going forward is ensuring Business Banking delivers top quality solutions for Nedbank’s clients and resultant topline revenue growth through:

  • Sales force effectiveness, balancing cross-selling, client acquisition and retention activities.
  • Increased innovation in deposit products and attracting new liabilities, particularly in the professional segment and public sector.
  • Continued application of effective, proactive and disciplined risk management practices as an enabler of business growth.

Business Banking’s empowered, accountable client service teams are a key differentiator and these teams will be enhanced by:

  • Improving client experience and cost efficiencies through integrated investment in people, systems, products and processes.
  • Continued investment in our people and organisational culture, with the focus on learning and development, leadership, transformation and diversity.

This ensures Business Banking is well positioned to capture opportunities as the economy recovers.

Management team


Annette Francke (35)
Executive Head: Strategy, Marketing and Communication
4 years’ service • BSc(Hons), MBA (Insead Business School)
Ayn Brown (44)
Executive Head: Human Resources
18 years’ service • BSocSc, MDP
   
Chico Naidu (54)
Executive Head: Innovation, Process and Project Integration
30 years’ service • LDP, AMP (Insead Business School)
Craig Evans (44)
Divisional Executive: KwaZulu-Natal and Free State and Northern Cape Business Unit
16 years’ service • BSc(Agric Econ), CAIB (SA), AMP (Insead Business School)
   
Douglas Lines (38)
Divisional Executive: Gauteng Business Unit
9 years’ service • BAcc, Diploma in Accounting, CA (SA)
Gavin Payne (47)
Executive Head: Risk
25 years’ service • CAIB (SA), Global EDP
(GIBS), Strategic Management in Banking
(Insead Business School)
   
Goolam Kader (43)
Divisional Executive: Cape Business Unit
10 years’ service • BCom, CAIB (SA), Global EDP (GIBS), Strategic Management in Banking(Insead Business School)
Herman de Kock (36)
Divisional Executive: Northern Business Unit
7 years’ service • MA, MBA (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Business School)
   
Jan Bosch (37)
Executive Head: Specialist Services
12 years’ service • BCom(Hons), CTA, CA (SA, International Executive Programme (Insead Business School)
Kandis Swanepoel (43)
Divisional Executive: Strategic Business Unit
13 years’ service • CA (SA), MBA (University of Wales), AMP (Insead Business School)