The banking industry in South Africa is second to none in the Continent. The industry is well-groomed and developed that about four of its leading banks are amongst the top ten biggest banks in Africa, and they have been leading the pack for quite a while now.

Biggest Banks South Africa

Below is a list of the biggest banks in the economy.

  1. Standard Bank Group
  2. FirstRand
  3. ABSA Group
  4. Nedbank Group
  5. Capitec
  6. Investec Bank
  7. African Bank Limited
  8. Grindrod Bank
  9. Mercantile Bank
  10. Bidvest Bank

1. Standard Bank Group

The South African bank ranks the biggest in South Africa and even in Africa as a whole. It has a tier 1 capital of $9.8 billion. The bank stands out on many grounds. It is the top-earning institution, bringing in a total income of about R100 million. The bank has continues to soar above others over the tears. It serves about 8.1 million customers and has the highest number of employees.

2. FirstRand

FirstRand is the second biggest bank in South Africa. It has a Tier 1 capital of $8.2 billion. Considering just headline earnings as a criterion for judgment, FirstRand will most likely come first among banks in South Africa with an earning of R27.89 billion for the 2019 financial year. But it emerged second on the basis of the combination of yardsticks.

3. ABSA Group

Absa is the third biggest bank in both South Africa and the African continent, although this last financial year was not too much of a good year in that it faced a double-digit fall in its Tier 1 capital position. It fell from 170th position to 184th position in the global ranking, and now has a Tier 1 capital of $6.8 billion.

4. Nedbank Group

The Nedbank Group ranks fourth in South Africa, fourth in Africa, and 240th in the world, on the basis of its Tier 1 capital which is about $5.1 billion.

5. Capitec

Capitec runs on a market capitalization of R114.8 billion. With this, it ranks fifth biggest in the South African banking industry. Although on the basis of its market capitalization, it qualifies to be in third place. Meanwhile, only two years ago, the bank was in the fifth position on the basis of its market capitalization. Also, in terms of share price, Capitec remains one of the biggest with its 2018 R1,000 per share price.

6. Investec Bank

Investec Bank is a financial institution that offers its clients both banking and wealth management services within South Africa. In addition, Investec Bank offers other financial services to its clients in international countries within Asia and Europe.

Investec Bank began operations in 1974 with its headquarters in Sandton. Since then, the bank has been at the forefront of providing individual services, investment banking, and corporate services. In addition, Investec Bank provides custom banking services to specific private clients.

Investec Bank has a total workforce of almost 10,000 staff. The bank averages an annual income that is close to R11 billion. Likewise, it has a total asset of over R11 trillion.

7. African Bank Limited

The current African Bank Limited or ABL is a bank that came into existence in 2016 after a restructuring effort. The restructuring of the bank was because of the curatorship by the country’s apex bank, which forced several changes to its operations. Initially, the bank was opened in 1975 and was related to the African Bank Investment Limited.

The bank has its head office in Midrand, South Africa. African Bank Limited is heavily involved in retail banking in the country. Also, the bank has several branches all across the country. It offers several banking services such as savings accounts, current accounts, and more through its fully evolved digital services.

8. Grindrod Bank

Grindrod Bank is considered a bank that operates as a commercial financial institution. This bank began its operations in 1994. In 2004, the bank was incorporated as a financial institution that is related to the mother company Grindrod Financial Group. Two years after its incorporation, Grindrod Bank purchased all shares of Marriot Merchant Bank.

In general, Grindrod Bank provides its services to high-earning clients. With its head office in Durban, Grindrod Bank has several branches within Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, and other provinces within South Africa. The bank has a staff base of over 6,000 employees. Also, Grindrod Bank has a total asset of over R30 billion.

9. Mercantile Bank

Mercantile Bank operates as a commercial bank, which has been in operation since 1965. Its head office in Sandton, offers its clients individual banking corporate services, retail services, brokerage, and asset management to name a few. Mercantile Bank operates as a subsidiary of a Portuguese financial institution.

Mercantile Bank has over 1000 workers across several branches within South Africa. The bank has a total average net income of over R200 million and a total asset of over R10 billion.

10. Bidvest Bank

Bidvest Bank is a type of bank that provides specialized banking services to specific clients. In particular, the bank provides insurance services, car purchase financing, retail banking services, and foreign exchange to local businesses.

Bidvest Bank began its operation in 1946, and it is owned by Bidvest Group, which is an international financial institution. The bank has a total asset of over R9 billion and a yearly average net profit of over R300 million. At the moment, Bidvest Bank employs directly and indirectly over 100,000 staff.

S/n Bank

Name

Income

(R billion)

Headline earnings

(R billion)

Tier1 capital

($ billion)

Employees Branches Customer satisfaction

(100%)

1. Standard Bank 98.9 27.9 9.75 53 178 1200 77.0
2. FirstRand 94.1 27.9 8.23 40 856 640 81.5
3. Absa Bank 75.7 16.1 6.85 48 780 619 76.3
4. Ned Bank 54.8 13.5 5.71 31 277 702 79.3
5. Capitec 19.0 5.3 1.51 13 774 840 84.9

 

Deciding which bank is the biggest was such a tricky one. As most banks superseded on some grounds and lost on others. Capitec, for instance, will pass as the biggest bank in the country based on customer numbers, but then, Standard Bank has the biggest income base and ranks top by core capital, and Absa has the widest reach.

So each of them ranks the biggest on different grounds. The bit we were only to arrive at this list on the basis of comparison of the different grounds on which each bank earns points.