FILE: A Standard Bank branch.
JOHANNESBURG - Standard Bank is warning its annual headline earnings will be 40 to 50-percent lower than 2019.
South Africa's largest lender has been grappling with pressure on consumers and businesses as a result of COVID-19.
The bank said the high number of retrenchments and salary cuts that its customers have been faced with has led to an increase in stage-three provisions.
Stage-three provisions refer to bad debt provisions for loans that have exceeded the 90-day non-payment threshold.
When the pandemic hit last year, the big banks offered payment holidays and other relief measures for customers struggling to meet their debt obligations.