Next week Capitec will release its latest interim financial results for the six-month period ending August 2021. The report will provide a snapshot of the bank’s performance during the trying times that have seen many South Africans — and many of the bank’s clients — struggle with the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 turbulence. The results reported by its peers in the sector indicate that SA banks have navigated the crisis quite admirably.

As an interim picture rather than the full account of the bank’s performance over an entire year, next week’s report will not be as voluminous as the annual report. The reason for the difference is an intersection between practicality and usefulness. The preparation process for financial statements — particularly for regulated entities — is notoriously laborious. When one considers the even more frequent internal reports banks have to provide to the regulators, it is easy to see how draining the reporting process is for such institutions....

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