Bank boosted by debt recovery

FirstRand, one of South Africa’s largest financial institutions recently announced it had posted a 34% rise in full-year profit, helped largely by a recovery in bad debts. The financial stalwart also said investment banking had performed well and as a result of its figures, that it could look at considering a ‘tie-up’ with an international bank.

FirstRand’s CEO Sizwe Nxasana said that such a move would make sense but that that the bank was not, however, looking for such opportunities at the present time. South Africa’s second-largest lender is likely to become the only one of the top four South African banks without a major foreign shareholder.

South Africa’s other banks, Nedbank is on the radar for bids from HSBC, whilst, Standard Bank is 20% owned by the Chinese group ICBC, Barclays is the majority shareholder in Absa.

With commercial debt, and indeed commercial debt recovery being so high on the global banking community’s agenda right now, one would expect the raft of UK banking results due in early 2011 to follow a similar trend, with equally impressive profits.

Such news would be welcomed by the UK taxpayers whom have underwritten most of the Lloyds and RBS debt books and toxic assets, so a return to profit and improvements to their respective Stand and Poor ratings may indeed lighten the burden on the taxpayer, and see a profit returned to the public coffers.

Corporate Credit Debt Recovery provides services such as debtor tracing, ongoing business reports, commercial debt collection and debt recovery to a range of UK and EuroZone clients ranging from small to medium enterprises to large scale financial instutions.

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