10 Biggest banks in South Africa (2023)

South Africa is situated at the southernmost tip of the African continent. The country is Africa’s third-largest economy and one of Africa’s richest nations in terms of GDP per capita. 

The increase in the South African economy brought a resultant increase in the capacity of South African banks. There exist today, six South African banks in the top ten biggest banks in Africa. This article lists the biggest banks in South Africa by assets.

South Africa’s biggest banks

RankBankAsset valuation (USD$)
1.Standard bank170,936,000,000
2.Absa98,769,000,000
3.FirstRand84,721,000,000
4.Nedbank71,240,000,000
5.Investec bank38,201,000,000
6.Capitec bank10,416,000,000
7.African Bank Limited5,252,000,000
8.GrindRod bank2,500,000,000
9.Bidvest bank1,353,000,000
10.Mercantile bank966,000,000

1. Standard bank

Asset: $170,936,000,000

The Standard bank group is South Africa’s biggest bank with an asset valuation of over 170 billion dollars. The bank is headquartered in Johannesburg and offers banking services, including loans, personal finance, corporate finance, and others. The bank is currently bragged to be Africa’s biggest lender offering loans with a cap of over 50 billion dollars. 

The Standard bank group employs over 30, 000 people across countries in Africa, the middle-east, Europe, and the United States. Real estate and mortgage loans stand as the bank’s major lending sector claiming over 30% of its total lending offered. 

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2. Absa

Asset: $98,769,000,000

Absa bank group was previously known as Barclay’s bank. The bank is currently South Africa’s 2nd biggest bank having an asset valuation of over 98 billion dollars.

The bank is headquartered in Johannesburg and offers banking services from business corporate banking, investment banking, asset management, and others. The bank is argued to be South Africa’s best investment bank overall. 

The bank offers investments in various development and protection engagements, making it one of the strongest Environmental, Social, and Governance compliant banks in Africa. 

3. FirstRand

Asset: $84,721,000,000

The FirstRand group is the 3rd biggest bank in South Africa with an asset valuation of over 84 billion dollars. The bank is the merger of the financial interests of two corporations, the RMB Holdings and the Angelo American Corporation in 1998.

From that merger, FirstRand bank grew to become the second-largest bank in South Africa. The bank is headquartered in Johannesburg with branches scattered across South Africa. 

The bank offers various services to customers from customer finance tailored towards the improvement of the customers’ income. FirstRand has branches in over 10 sub-Saharan African countries and the United Kingdom.

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4. Nedbank

Asset: $71,240,000,000

Nedbank is arguably South Africa’s largest bank in terms of employment and branch locations. The bank currently has over 3000 locations scattered across 40 nations and employs over 60,000 people. The bank is headquartered in Sandton, Johannesburg. 

Nedbank offers services ranging from retail banking, investment banking, corporate banking and others. The bank is currently the 4th biggest South African bank with an asset valuation of over 71 billion dollars. 

5. Investec bank

Asset: $38,201,000,000

Investec bank is a renowned financial advising and banking services company. The bank is currently with an asset valuation of over 38 billion dollars, making it the 5th largest bank in South Africa.

The bank offers services relating to asset management, corporate banking, investment banking, and others. The bank serves varying clients from numerous backgrounds and is largely argued to be a top choice for small businesses and medium businesses in the South African market.

The bank is also headquartered in Johannesburg and employs over 8000 people. Investec bank is also located in more than seven nations.

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6. Capitec bank

Asset: $10,416,000,000

Capitec bank is South Africa’s 6th biggest bank having a total asset valuation of over 10 billion dollars. The bank is South Africa’s largest bank headquartered outside Johannesburg with its headquarters being in Capetown.

Capitec offers various retail banking services, investment banking, and others. As of June 2022, the bank was argued to have over 10 million customers across South Africa and beyond. 

Capitec was created to offer small banking services to a limited clientele base, nonetheless, the bank has grown to be a Tier-1 South African bank employing over 11,000 people as of June 2022.

7. African Bank Limited

Asset: $5,252,000,000

African bank limited is a retail banking service provider headquartered in Johannesburg. The bank is currently the seventh biggest bank in South Africa with an asset valuation of over 5 billion dollars. The bank offers services including loans, asset management, financial banking advice and others.

The bank is arguably South Africa’s largest marketer with a detailed concentration on digital banking services throughout South Africa.

The bank owns various subsidiaries offering banking services through digital services channels as well as other channels that aid general banking practices and service delivery to its customers. 

8. GrindRod bank

Asset: $2,500,000,000

GrindRod bank was created in 1994 and is the largest bank in Durban and the second largest bank outside Johannesburg. The bank offers services ranging from corporate banking to investment banking as well as customer banking options. The bank merged with the Marriott merchant bank in 2006.

GrindRod is currently South Africa’s 8th largest bank with an asset valuation of over 2 billion dollars.

9. Bidvest bank

Asset: $1,353,000,000

The Bidvest bank is yet another South African bank headquartered in Johannesburg and has an asset valuation of over a billion dollars. The bank is owned and controlled by the Bidvest group limited. 

Bidvest bank offers services relating to asset management, corporate banking, retail banking etc. With over 3 million customers and over 100 branches, Bidvest bank is regarded as one of South Africa’s biggest banks in terms of clientele base.

10. Mercantile bank

Asset: $966,000,000

Mercantile bank is the 10th largest bank in South Africa with an asset valuation of over 900 million dollars. The bank is 100% owned by Mercantile Bank Holdings Limited and offers services relating to corporate banking, retail banking, and loan services to several customers. 

The bank is headquartered in Sandton, Johannesburg, and was established in 1965, making it one of the oldest banks in South Africa and on the African continent.

Conclusion

The economy of South Africa finished at over 400 billion dollars by the end of 2021. After the 1996 apartheid abolition, the South African economy grew larger by over a 90% increase.

The largest city in South Africa is Johannesburg, which also serves as a financial concentration for most of Africa’s largest companies and the headquarters of most of the biggest banks in South Africa.

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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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