The performance of South Africa’s banking sector is highly attributed to the country’s steady economic growth through these best banks in South Africa. This makes them one of the most organized banking sectors in the continent with bank categories from Mutual Banks, Co-operative Banks, Foreign Banks, Private Banks, Commercial Banks, Merchant Banks; to mention a few. Having acknowledged how good South Africa’s banking sector is, it is important to use the best bank in the country.

List of banks in South Africa

Here are the top 10 best banks in South Africa.

1. Standard Bank

With its headquarters in Johannesburg, Standard Bank Group is the best bank in South Africa and the largest on the continent. The bank offers an array of financial products and services across the country and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. Their assets exceed R2 Trillion which translates to USD 153 Billion and they have a market capitalization of approximately R310 Billion which is equivalent to USD 23 Billion. The Standard Bank Group has been in operation in South Africa for the past 159 years.

2. FirstRand

FirstRand came about in 1998 after the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Limited merged together with RMB Holdings (RMBH). The bank saw rapid growth past other established financial corporations to become the second-best bank in South Africa. FirstRand is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has total assets of around R1.2 Trillion (USD 92 Billion).

FirstRand operations are not limited to South Africa. The bank has some markets in sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom.

3. Barclays Africa Group Limited

Johannesburg headquartered Barclays Afric Group Limited started off as ABSA Group Limited. The bank is worth R1.1 Trillion (USD 85 Billion) in assets and employs more than 39 000 people. Financial products and services offered by Barclays Africa Group Limited include business and personal banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth, and investment management services among others. The group is a “wholly-owned” subsidiary of Barclays.

4. Nedbank

This bank boasts total assets worth approximately R892 Billion (USD 69 Billion) and ranks fourth on the list of the best Banks in South Africa. Nedbank specializes in both retail and wholesale banking services and its Market Capitalisation stands at R128 Billion as of 31st December 2017. Other financial products and services offered by the bank include growing insurance, asset management, and wealth management services.

With its headquarters in Sandton, Nedbank has operations in 39 countries around the world, with more than 2000 branches and over 31,000 employees.

5. Investec

Investec is an elite financial corporation under the “international specialist banking & asset management firms” category. The firm has its headquarters in Johannesburg. Investec’s clientele is in Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific, where they offer a myriad of financial products and services including investment, assets and wealth management, retail, corporate, and investment banking.

The bank’s asset value is R415 Billion (USD 32 Billion) and it is the first South African company that lists on both London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

6. Capitec

Capitec is the best bank that is not headquartered in Johannesburg on this list. It is a retail bank in South Africa that has its headquarters in Western. The total asset value under Capitec is R87 Billion (USD 6.7 Billion). The bank operates a network of 800 retail branches across South Africa and Zambia and boasts 9.9 million active clients.

7. African Bank

On the list of the best banks in South Africa, African Bank Limited is the top private-sector financial service provider (retail bank). The bank offers these financial services; loans, investment, debit, and credit card services among others. With its head office in Johannesburg, African bank is a subsidiary of African Bank Holdings Limited. Total assets of R32 Billion (USD 2.5 Billion) earned them the seventh spot on the list of the best banks in South Africa.

8. Grindrod Bank

It is a private sector commercial bank in South Africa licensed as a “Locally Controlled Financial Institution” by the Reserve Bank of South Africa. It was founded in 1994 and has offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, and Pretoria of South Africa.

Grindrod Bank primarily provides corporate finance, investment banking, corporate lending, deposit, and property-related products and services to private, corporate, and institutional clients. The Bank has total assets of around R16.68 Billion (USD 1.3 Billion) as of 31st December 2017.

9. Mercantile Bank

Mercantile Bank’s R12.8 Billion (USD 984 Million) total assets placed them ninth on this prestigious list. The company is a commercial bank that was founded in 1965. With its headquarters in Sandown, Mercantile Bank is a fully owned subsidiary of a bank controlling investment company, Mercantile Bank Holdings Limited.

10. Bidvest Bank

Bidvest Bank is a commercial financial services provider in the South African private sector. The bank was founded in 1998 and licensed as a “Locally Controlled Financial Institution” by the Reserve Bank of South Africa. The headquarters of Bidvest Bank is in Johannesburg of South and the bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bidvest Group Limited (a South African-based international business conglomerate).

Bidvest Bank offers an array of banking products and services across South Africa and has a total asset worth of R7.8 Billion (USD 600 Million).


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