Standard Bank group CEO Sim Tshabalala is bracing for the imminent launch of Discovery Bank and the potential disruption of the industry that could come from big technology. "Discovery are going to be a fierce competitor in the wealth segment and we are worried about them," he told media on the sidelines of the group’s interim results presentation for the six months to June, which saw headline earnings rise by 5% to R12.7bn, helped by a strong performance from its operations in the rest of Africa. To a universal financial services provider like Standard Bank, the launch of Discovery Bank will round out a formidable financial services offering that has been created by Adrian Gore in a fraction of the time Standard Bank has been in existence.

The development also coincides with Patrice Motsepe’s entry into banking, which has recently been crystallised with the purchase of Tyme Digital by African Rainbow Capital. Tshabalala referred to competitive pressure during his presentation...

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