Standard Bank South Africa bucks industry trends, going easy on 2012 price increases
14 December 2011

Standard Bank South Africa will buck industry trends by not increasing its pricing structure in January 2012 for its personal banking customers and making only marginal increases for business banking clients.

Standard Bank South Africa is doing so by passing its cost savings back to its customers. The cost savings are driven by the bank's focused stance on improving efficiency and processes, which has seen growing numbers of consumers migrating to the self-service channels. Standard Bank South Africa has also taken into consideration the prevailing economic conditions and consumer and business confidence. This has resulted in pricing being restructured and simplified for customers.

From January 2012 customers will also get three free services in the form of MyUpdates (advising by SMS of activity on accounts), internet banking, and cell phone banking.

Sugendhree Reddy, Director of Products at Standard Bank South Africa, says "Our decision comes at a time when the economy is sluggish and consumer and business confidence is low. Banks normally announce increases in pricing at the beginning of each year, but Standard Bank is able to avoid these fee increases in 2012 for personal banking customers, and provide some free services, which will give consumers some relief."

Standard Bank Group has arranged with South Africa's biggest mobile network operators to zero rate the calls made by their customers to their cell phone banking number (*120*2345). The cost of the calls is carried by the bank, so that customers don't pay for their cell phone banking calls.

"Our number of active registered users of mobile banking has grown year on year by an average of 124%," Ms Reddy says.

Ms Reddy says Standard Bank Group will also continue efforts to maintain and increase the security of self-service channels. This is part of its proactive focus on putting routine banking activities in the hands of its customers by encouraging them to use self-service channels.

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