African Bank, the entity that has risen from the ashes of one of SA’s biggest banking collapses, says it had “another successful six-month period” to end-March as deposits surged.

“Retail deposit customers continue to show trust in the bank, as evidenced by the significant increase in savings and investments deposits,” said the bank, which was salvaged after imploding in 2014.

Retail customer deposits rose to R1.5bn from R680m a year before, and the net customer advances balance lifted to R19.2bn from R19bn. The bank’s credit impairment charge for the period fell to R970m from R1.7bn a year before. However, profit fell to R69m from R77m. 

The bank said it had diversified itself in the interim period by investing in new initiatives. Its new transactional banking proposition, MyWORLD, “signals a new phase in the bank’s growth”.

Last week, African Bank launched a zero-monthly fee account, signalling its entry in the fee war that is shaking up the industry.

“The cost of credit risk continues to decrease, while new credit disbursements have increased against a backdrop of stricter credit underwriting criteria,” African Bank said.

The bank and its holding company, African Bank Holdings, had maintained “robust capital levels and surplus liquidity”.

The bank’s core equity tier-one capital adequacy ratio declined to 30.1% from 32%. “The combination of these factors present African Bank as an attractive and investable proposition.”