Case Study

Cost Benchmarking for a South African Bank


Leading South African bank with over $50 billion in assets.


Amid intense competition and a weak national economy, a leading South African bank wanted to identify areas in which it could improve efficiency performance.


B|G and a strategic partner worked together to provide the client with relevant peer benchmark information and insights from the current banking environment to inform the client’s planning cycle. B|G identified high-level banking industry trends and gathered benchmarking data from peers in North America and Europe, while our partner firm focused on benchmarking the client’s cost base against peer organizations within South Africa and the larger African market.


Benchmarks and industry information was used to identify potential optimization opportunities and set targets to drive efficiencies.

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The scope of this project includes four main areas of activity:


B|G conducted secondary benchmarking and industry research focusing on banking markets in North American and Europe.

  • Cost efficiency information relating to various banking functions benchmarks (e.g., front office costs, finance costs, IT costs, marketing costs, etc.) was collected and analysed.
  • To provide context to the data, trends in the banking industry were also identified and analysed.


As part of the broader collaborative partnership, B|G aligned and integrated its supplemental global research findings with its partner’s African and South African research findings.


Periodic updates were given to the client and B|G followed up on any additional research requests.

  • A final slide deck presentation was delivered to leadership at the end of the engagement.


As a result of the benchmark data and high-level trends analysis, the client was able to better understand their operational performance in the context of their peers and the broader banking industry.

  • The client was able to identify areas in which it could improve efficiencies.  
  • The client was able to set better targets for becoming a “best in class” bank.

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