It’s hard to get excited about Standard Bank’s performance over the past five years. On the JSE, its shares are up just 24% against Capitec’s 228% rise, for example. Arguably a tanker in the legacy banking fleet, Standard has, however, set out an ambitious growth plan for the next four years, after posting a 41% recovery in first-half headline earnings of R10.9bn from last year’s Covid lows. Return on equity — what the bank makes in profit relative to its shareholder equity — is righting itself, at 13.3%. The FM spoke to CEO Sim Tshabalala.

You said last week you want 25-million customers by 2025 (from 15-million now) and a return on equity of between 17% and 20%. Those are big promises. Can shareholders hold you to them?..

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