Top 10 biggest banks in Africa (2022)

There are over 763 commercial banks across the 54 countries of the African continent, the competition in the African banking sector has reached a standard peak with some banks having branches in over 30 nations in Africa and some major global cities. 

The African countries having the highest concentration of commercial banks are Kenya and Egypt with 39 and 37 banks respectively, followed closely are Tanzania with 34 banks and subsequently Nigeria and Uganda both with 24 and Ghana with 23.

In addition, Africa has a small number of commercial banks combined when compared to other continents. Asia for example has at least 1,900 banks, the European Union has over 6,000 and the United States boasts more than 4,000 banks. 

Furthermore, most African banks have a relatively low valuation compared to their foreign counterparts but a few African banks boast of an incredible valuation from their operations on the continent.

This work takes a look at the top 10 largest banks on the African continent based on assets combined.

Top 10 Africa’s Largest Banks

1. Standard Bank Group (South Africa)

The Standard Bank Group is the largest bank in Africa in terms of market capitalization and revenue. The bank is headquartered in South Africa and serves a varying number of corporate and high net worth individual clients. The standard bank group is also Africa’s largest lending bank providing aid to most corporations across the continent. 

At $170.8 billion, this South African bank has the largest asset size of any other bank in Africa.

2. ABSA Group (South Africa)

ABSA Group is present in 12 countries across the African continent and regards itself as the brand for the ideal African banking identity. 

Founded in 1991 and formerly Barclays Africa Group Ltd. ABSA generally engages in a plethora of activities from wealth management to offering loans to large corporations, asset management and others. The bank brags of over 42,000 employees scattered across over 20 countries on the African continent.

3. FirstRand Bank (South Africa)

The FirstEand bank takes third place on the list of biggest banks on the African continent with operations in three continents and varying countries including the United Kingdom and India. The bank is headquartered in South Africa offering a variety of banking solutions to its customers.

A wide range of transactional, investment, lending, and insurance services and products are offered by the bank. FirstRand also serves as the official bank of the South African Reserve Bank.

4. National Bank of Egypt (Egypt)

The National bank of Egypt (NBE) boasts about 510 branches across the Egyptian nation and has over 14 million customers; the bank also has a significant international presence.

With aims by the NBE aiming to boost market capitalization by over 2% at the end of the first quarter of 2023, the bank is positioned for greater prospects in the future. The NBE is currently one of the oldest banks in Africa and indeed Egypt’s oldest.

5. Nedbank Group (South Africa)

Nedbank Group is more of an indigenous bank than an international or continental bank, having concentrations on the South African market only.

Currently operating 692 branches; it hopes to expand to the rest of the continent by the year 2030. In addition, the bank provides insurance, wealth, and asset management services, they also offer a variety of wholesale and retail banking services.

6. Attijariwafa (Morocco)

Founded in 1904 with the motto “Believe in you”, and plays an active role in Morocco’s social development by aiding drawback communities. The Attijariwafa is the largest bank in Morocco.

With over 10 million clients being served in 25 countries, Attijariwafa Bank is a driving force in the Moroccan and African financial sectors and businesses. 

7. Groupe Banque Populaire (Morocco)

This is another Moroccan bank headquartered in Morocco and France, founded in 1878. 

The Groupe Banque Populaire also known as abbreviated to BCP is a cooperative of banks and is present in over 40 countries and finances over 20% of the French and Moroccan economies.

8. Investec (South Africa)

Another South African financial institution on the list is Investec, which was founded in 1974 and penetrated the UK in 1992. 

The bank offers private banking, corporate, wealth and investment and asset management respectively.

9. Zenith Bank (Nigeria)

The first financial institution from West Africa is unsurprisingly from Nigeria, the most populous African nation as well as Africa’s largest economy.

Zenith Bank was founded in May 1990 as a commercial bank. In 2004, it changed its status to a public limited company and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. 

The bank currently operates more than 500 branches, offices, and subsidiaries throughout the continent, with plans to further expand into the European and Asian markets.

10. Afreximbank (Egypt)

Afreximbank, also called the African Export-Import Bank, is an international financial organization with its main office in Cairo. 

The bank offers a variety of financing programs, solutions, and advisory services to support African trade with the vision to be the trade finance bank for Africa.

Conclusion

The article provided the 10 largest commercial banks in the African continent based on assets, nonetheless, from the work above, a majority of banks are situated in the nations of South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria. The market capitalization of these banks far exceeds the banks in other African nations, with some top 10 commercial banks having a significant presence in Libya, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and others. 

Furthermore, in comparison to other continents like North America, Europe, and Asia, African banks account for less than 1% of the total market capitalization of the World Bank and less than 1% of the global banking valuation. However, according to a World Bank report’s most recent ranking of the World bank statistics on global banking, African banks outperform their profits, contributing 2% to global profits and providing a 19.49% return on capital.

Nonetheless, there are hopes by experts that the upgrade of banking revenues and market capitalization in Africa is expected to reach over 2.5% by the year 2050. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Bank is the largest in the world?

The largest bank in the world is the Industrial and Commercial bank of China with a market capitalization of over $231 billion and a revenue index of over $123 billion as of 2021. 

Which Bank has the largest customer base in Africa?

Access Bank of Nigeria is the bank with the largest customer base with over 60 million users as of the end of 2021. 

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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