Top 20 banks in South Africa

South Africa is among the most popular country in Africa alongside Nigeria and Egypt. We will be looking at the top 20 banks in South Africa, one of the most developed countries in Africa. The country is mixed with both blacks and whites, with a population of over 50 million people.

At the number you will agree with me there will be high demand for bank services. There are many banks in the country but I will focus my attention on the best 20.

Top 20 banks in South Africa

Major Banks 

1. Absa 

One of the best banks in South Africa. Founded in 1991, with its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

absa in Top 20 banks in South Africa

They have more than 9 million customers which keeps increasing in number as the day goes by. You might not know about this, but it is a subsidiary of Barclays Africa Group.

2. Standard Bank

This is the largest bank in this list. With the highest earnings and assets, they have more than 50,000 employees.


The standard bank was founded over 150 years ago on 15 October 1862 by John Paterson. They are found in many countries ranging from Africa to other parts of the world.

3. First National Bank (FNB)

Another great bank in South Africa, FNB has made the list. It was founded in the year 1838 in Grahamstown, South Africa, making it the oldest bank in the country.

First National Bank in Top 20 banks in South Africa

It is a section of First Rand Limited and has spread to other African countries.

4. Capitec Bank

Founded on March 1, 2001, It has its headquarter at 1 Quantum Street, Techno Park, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. With the little years they came into operation, they have managed to write their name in gold as one of the best banks in the country.

capitec bank

A good success record has been met with over 11,000 employees, 500 retail branches nationwide, and more than 6.2 million customers.

5. Nedbank

When rated by assets, this bank comes at the fourth position in the country. It was founded in the Netherlands and Amsterdam to be precise on 1 March 1888; 132 years ago.

nedbank, Top 20 banks in South Africa

Their focus is on South Africa but has managed to extend their operations to Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. As of 2018, they have 31,277 employees.

6. Bidvest Bank


Founded over two decades ago in 1998, Bidvest bank has expanded to manage over 140 retail banking outlets in South Africa. This bank is a specialist when it comes to foreign exchange and that’s why it made our list of top 20 banks in South Africa.

7. African Bank 

African Bank

The name suggests like a bank for the whole of Africa, but its predominantly in South Africa. The African Bank Limited is a retail bank and their focus is providing unsecured personal loans. Their headquarter is located at Midrand Johannesburg, South Africa.

8. Investec 


A well-known international bank that was founded in 1974. Their products are directed to Private Banking, Capital Markets, and Investment Banking.

Minor Banks

9. UBank 


A microfinance bank focused on gold and platinum mining.

10. Wesbank 


Focused on motor vehicle & business finance.

11. Sasfin bank 

Sasfin bank, Top 20 banks in South Africa

Established in 1951, their focus is on corporate clients and high net worth individuals. It’s among the leading banks when it comes to loans, checking, investments, and savings.

12. Rand Merchant Bank 

Rand Merchant Bank 

A division of FirstRand Group that offers fund Management, corporate banking, and advisory services.

13. HBZ Bank 

HBZ Bank

With its headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland, it didn’t stop them from extending their operations to South Africa. It was founded on 25 August 1967 but was launched into SA in 1995. One of their divisions is SIRAT Islamic Banking.

14. Mercantile Bank Holdings 

Their target is corporate customers. They provide both banking and financial services which include foreign exchange, personal, and corporate credit cards.

Mercantile Bank Holdings

They have over 50 years of experience and their two subsidiaries are Mercantile Bank and Mercantile Insurance Brokers.

15. Grindrod Bank 

Grindrod Bank, Top 20 banks in South Africa

Ever since its establishment in 1994, this bank has grown to more than 190 employees. Having its headquarters in Durban, South Africa, this commercial bank offers product such as Loans, savings, invoice discounting, and investments.

16. South African Reserve Bank 

Established on 30 June 1921, it has its headquarters at Pretoria, South Africa. This is the central bank of South Africa.

South African Reserve Bank 
24/05/2018. Outside view building of South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria.
Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ African News Agency (ANA)

They offer the following services; Issuing banknotes and coin; Managing official gold and foreign-exchange reserves; Acting as lender of last resort in exceptional circumstances, and many other services.

17. Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited 

Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited

Due to the long name characters, it’s abbreviated as MMI Holdings. It was founded in 2010 and has its headquarters at Centurion, South Africa. They provide long and short-term insurance, asset management, savings, and investment.

18. AfrAsia Bank

Located at Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa. It was founded in 2007 at Mauritius before it started spreading to other countries.

19. Al Baraka Bank 

Al Baraka Bank in Top 20 banks in South Africa

When people think of Islamic banking, then this bank comes to the mind of every South African. It has its branches in most Islamic countries and its a subsidiary of the Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group.

20. ICICI Bank 

ICICI Bank in Top 20 banks in South Africa

Founded in India in June 1994 but inaugurated its first branch in South Africa in early 2016. They offer the following services; corporate loans, fund-based working capital facilities, and trade finance facilities

With the above information, we hope you’ve been able to see the top 20 banks in South Africa.

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