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FirstRand SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52551153| Jun 2019| 15 pages


Business Sector :Banking and Financial Services Sector

Operating Geography :South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, United Kingdom

About FirstRand :

FirstRand limited which came into existence in the year 1998, was founded as a specialist investment bank in the year 1970 by three entrepreneurs, Paul Harris, GT Ferreira and Paul Harris. FirstRand is one of the largest and fully integrated financial services group in South Africa. This group mainly operates through its subsidiaries namely: Discovery Holding Limited, Momentum Group Limited and FirstRand Bank Holding Limited. FirstRand provides services in retail and commercial banking, Corporate and financial banking and installment finance and asset management. These all services are provided by the RMB, FNB, WesBank and Ashburton Investments, which are the brands under the FirstRand Group. The UK banking part of FirstRand is taken care by Aldermore Group. It was named by 2018 Brand Finance® Banking 500 Report as Most Valuable Banking Brand in Africa.

FirstRand Revenue :

Net income from operations
Rand 36,262 million – FY ended 30th June 2018 (year-on-year growth of 9.22%)
Rand 33,200 million – FY ended 30th June 2017

Competitive Analysis of FirstRand

The SWOT analysis for FirstRand is presented below:
1. Diverse Product range
2. Broad portfolio of brands
3. Presence in both banking and non-banking financial sector
4. Sustainable Business Model
5. Socially responsible activities
1. Low credit rating compared to international peers
2. Less diversified into the rest of Africa
1. Further International Expansion
2. Increase in product range
1. Increasing threat of bad debt in operating markets
2. Fast paced regulatory changes
3. Unstable Political Condition
4. Threat from potential new entrants into the financial services market
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of FirstRand



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1. Increasing threat of bad debt in operating markets: Bad debt is a loss that a company incurs when credit that has been given to customers becomes a non performing asset, either because the debtor is bankrupt, has financial problems or because it cannot be collected. It is expensed on the income statement. The countries that FirstRand operates in are mostly prone to Political instability and are under developed. Almost all of these countries lie in the continent of Africa nearly 75 % of which is prone to political instability. Therefore, there is a big chance that the borrower of these countries can default on their debts thus leading to bad debt. The company should be careful about its lending activities and should focus on B2B lending, which has a lesser risk of default.

2. Fast paced regulatory changes: As a Multinational Company, FirstRand is prone to disadvantages of regulatory changes. This is also known as regulatory risk. Regulatory risk is the risk that a change in regulations or legislation will affect the security of a company or industry. Companies have to follow the rule and regulations set by governing bodies that oversee their industry. Therefore, any change in regulations can cause a chain reaction across an industry. These regulations can increase costs of operations, introduce new legal and administrative hurdles and cost, and sometimes even restrict a company from doing business. For example, Tax policy reforms can affect the bottom rung for businesses and individual investors alike. Any change to income tax law directly affects the income of any company of industry and may present new regulatory risk.

3. Unstable political conditions: One of the important systematic extraneous factors for a company’s growth is the stability of the political conditions of the country it operates in, which not only significantly influences the volatility index but also highly impacts the customer’s trust. Most of the Operation of FirstRand is based in the continent of Africa. It operates in the countries like Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Angola. Some of these countries like Swaziland, Mozambique are highly volatile and also do pose a threat for political instability through civil moments and coups. These instabilities have the risk of property loss and bad debt which may lead to the loss in market Cap and value of the company.

4. Threat from potential new entrants into the financial services market: The banking industry in South Africa is quickly evolving with the emergence of new entrants, Client expectation and innovation. These trends are fundamentally transforming the South African banking landscape from an industry dominated by four incumbents with segment-specific challengers, to an industry with a variety of competitors capturing a significant share of the value pool across retail and corporate banking. Some of the newly established competitor of FirstRand is Discovery Bank, Bank Zero and TymeDigital. Therefore, FirstRand needs to evaluate where it stands in the evolving landscape and implement sound, attainable and competitive, client-centric strategies. This will be a challenging task but they need to respond quickly or risk their market share being squeezed by new, low-cost innovative competitors.

Major Competitors :

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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies

References used in FirstRand Analysis Report

1. FirstRand Sustainability Report 2017 -

2. FirstRand Energy Report -

3. FirstRand Website -

4. The business and social dimensions of employee volunteering programmes (EVPs) in South Africa -

5. FirstRand Annual Report 2018 -

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FirstRand SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & PESTLE.COM

SWOT & (2020). FirstRand SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 May, 2020].

In-text: (SWOT &, 2020)

Copyrights and Disclaimer

FirstRand SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Sidhanta Das and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

Copyright of FirstRand SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for usage guidelines.

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