South African banks continue to lead the charge on the African continent. Recent rankings from The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks List have seen South Africa’s “big four” named on the list.
A difference with this year’s listing of SA banks is that it demonstrates results of South Africa’s weak performance economically during 2014 and the ensuing volatility of the Rand.
The list tracks the largest bank holding companies based on Tier 1 capital, which is the core measure of a bank’s financial strength, composed of core capital (common stock and disclosed reserves).
The 2015 list has been dominated by Asian banks while US banks have four listed in the top 10. On the African front, nine Nigerian banks made the list.
- Standard Bank
South Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank once again makes it as number one. The bank achieved an overall ranking of 123rd. Its Tier 1 capital fell from $10.5 billion to $10.18 billion, but it continues to have the biggest customer base in the country.
- First National Bank
Ranked second in South Africa and Africa, FNB increased its capital to $7.98 billion. The bank continues to compete with Standard Bank in terms of market value, customer base and profits. In 2014 it became the most valuable JSE-listed bank, when it overtook Standard Bank in terms of market capitalization.
Nedbank dropped from 195th to 216th. Its capital base dropped from $5.11 billion to $4.76 billion, while its customer base increased from 6.7 million to 7.1 million customers.
- Barclays Africa Group (previously Absa)
Absa bank, which has the second biggest customer base in South Africa, is also ranked as South Africa’s most valuable banking brand (valued at R189.1 billion).
The bank has a capital base of $6.09 billion, but is excluded from the making ranking as it is a subsidiary of the UK’s Barclays. Absa is listed as the 13th best bank in the world in terms of making profits for its parent company.
Ranked 8th on the continent and 357th overall
Ranked 19th in Africa and 672nd overall