The bad debt levels among South Africa's top four banks have fallen by 21,5% in the first six months of this year according to a report compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
It says the local banking sector had produced solid profits amid global turmoil in the financial and banking sectors, with their combined earnings rising by 8,8% to R18,3-billion in the first half of this year, compared with last year.
The return on equity for shareholders in these banks had risen from 14,3% to 14,5% during the period, leading PwC to suggest that their performance had been "commendable" when compared with banks in other parts of the world.
Absa emerged as the top performer in terms of return on equity at 15,8% followed by FirstRand (15,5%), Standard Bank (14,5%) and Nedbank (12%).
The report says that Absa also leads in terms of capital adequacy with 16,7% followed by FirstRand (16,5%) Nedbank (15,2%) and Standard Bank (14,8%).
PwC says that there has been slow growth in the demand for domestic credit, which was up by 2,3% year-on-year along with slow growth in net interest income of 4,2%.
It says that local banks are more than adequately capitalised as the minimum level required in South Africa is 9,5% and all four banks are well above that level. It compares with the international capital adequacy requirement under Basel 3 of 8%.Read more: