David Hodnett. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
David Hodnett. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Veteran banking executive David Hodnett has returned to Standard Bank following a year-long sabbatical in the wake of his departure from the Absa group. 

His insight of the inner workings of Absa may come in handy as Standard and  the former Barclays subsidiary continue to grapple for market share in key markets, most notably mortgages and card. Standard streaked past Absa during the Barclays years to  become the local market leader in home loans. 

Absa and Standard are also slugging it out with Firstrand for dominance in card (transactional banking), with the three in a virtual dead heat at the end of 2018, according to data provided by the Reserve Bank.

Hodnett has been appointed chief risk officer at Standard Bank and will rejoin the group on May 1. He will formally succeed the group’s current chief risk officer, Neil Surgey,  who retires at the end of May.

Hodnett occupied a number of senior executive positions during his  10-year tenure with Barclays Africa Group (now Absa) including finance director, deputy group CEO, and CEO of SA.

He  left in May 2018 following a major restructuring that took place in tandem with Absa’s formal separation from parent Barclays plc.

Hodnett declined the role as head of corporate and investment banking, opting instead to leave the company.

He returns to Standard Bank where he worked for eight years from 2000. Standard Bank said Hodnett had “held various risk roles at an executive level, mainly in the personal and business banking division”.

There will be some issues Hodnett will need to keep an eye  on when he takes over. While Standard Bank’s credit risks appear to be well managed according to its latest financial results, the bank did get caught up in the crossfire between MTN and Nigerian authorities last year over the alleged illegal repatriations of dividends by the mobile telephone company.