Banks in South Africa

ABSA Firstrand Bank First National Bank Nedbank Standard Bank Wesbank
ABSA First Rand Group FNB Nedbank Standard Bank WesBank

Banking system in South Africa includes 10 locally controlled banks, 7 foreign controlled banks, 3 mutual banks, 2 co-operative banks as well as about 50 branches and representative offices of foreign banks. The total assets of banking sector amounted to approximately ZAR 6 trillion according to data from South African Reserve Bank.

Absa Bank – A leading South African bank with over 9 million retail and corporate customers. It operates as a subsidiary of Barclays Africa Group. As of January 5, 2018, it had a market capitalization of ZAR 3.4 billion.

African Bank – The commercial bank headquartered in Midrand. It focuses on providing unsecured personal loans to residents of South Africa.

Al Baraka Bank – The pioneer of Islamic banking in South Africa. It operates as a subsidiary of the Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group.

Barclays Africa Group (formerly Absa Group) – One of largest financial services companies in Africa with over 12 million customers and 42,000 employees.

Bidvest Bank – A leading foreign exchange specialist in South Africa. It focuses on all major currencies through a correspondent global network.

Capitec Bank Holdings – A commercial bank headquartered in Stellenbosch. As of October 25, 2017, it had a market capitalization of ZAR 108 billion (US$7.9 billion).

FirstRand Group – One of the largest financial institutions in the country. It includes FirstRand Bank, First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and WesBank. As of December 1, 2017, the Group had a market capitalization of ZAR 317 billion (US$23 billion).

First National Bank (FNB) is the oldest bank in South Africa established in 1838. It operates as a subsidiary of FirstRand Group.

Grindrod Bank (GRDB) – A competitive investment bank serving private, corporate and institutional customers. It is rated by GCR and has a stable outlook of BBB+ (ZA).

HBZ Bank – A wholly owned subsidiary of Habib Bank AG Zurich. It was launched in 1995 and maintains branches in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng. HBZ has a division specializing in Islamic banking.

Investec Bank Ltd is a focused specialist bank and asset management company. It provides investment, corporate and private banking services.

Mercantile Bank Holdings – An investment holding company, providing international and domestic banking services to retail and corporate customers. It has two subsidiaries: Mercantile Bank and Mercantile Insurance Brokers that provides life insurance and short-term broking services. Mercantile Bank Holdings is a division of Caixa Geral de Depositos S.A.

MMI Holdings – A financial services group providing insurance, savings, asset management, investments, healthcare administration and employee benefits.

Nedbank Group – The South Africa’s fourth largest banking group as measured by assets. It offers a wide range of wholesale and retail banking services, wealth management and insurance products. The Bank is 54% owned by the parent company, Old Mutual plc.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) – The investment banking arm of the FirstRand Group and one of the leading corporate and investment banks in Africa.

Sasfin Bank – A niche banking and financial services group headquartered in Waverley. The company serves individuals and businesses, focusing on corporate clients and high net worth individuals.

South African Reserve Bank – The central bank of the RSA. It maintains that South Africa has a growing economy based on the principles of a market system, private and social initiative, effective competition and social fairness.

Standard Bank Group – The largest bank in South Africa by assets and earnings. It is a full-service financial group with operations in 20 African countries. As of June 30, 2017, it had total assets of ZAR 1.95 trillion.

Ubank Ltd (formerly Teba Bank) – A South African bank operating in the microfinance sector. It operates primarily within the gold and platinum mining communities.

United Bank – Allied Bank, United Bank and Volkskas Bank stop trading under their own names, from this point they all trade under the name "ABSA".

WesBank – The largest provider of vehicle finance in South Africa, financing 1 in 3 new cars sold. The company operates as a division of FirstRand Bank.

See also:  Foreign Banks in South Africa, Insurance Companies

Top Banks in South Africa

Below is a list of the largest banks operating in South Africa. The Big Four banks hold over 80% of banking services in the country.

 Total Assets (ZAR billion)

Rank Bank 06/2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
1 Standard Bank Group 1,952.52 1,954.29 1,986.93 1,902.85 1,690.93 1,560.35 1,509.05
2 FirstRand Ltd 1,217.71 1,180.49 1,139.51 978.548 865.732 769.765 697.927
3 Barclays Africa Group 1,137.88 1,101.02 1,144.60 991.414 962.863 898.371 872.662
4 Nedbank Group 965.830 966.022 925.726 809.313 749.594 682.958 648.127
5 Absa Bank * 936.703 918.311 936.141 814.061 792.635 763.920 740.002
6 Investec Bank Ltd 425.687 411.980 340.192 - - - -

* Absa Bank Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Africa Group.