Standard Bank Group Limited[2] is a major South African bank and financial services group. It is Africa's biggest lender by assets.[3] The company's corporate headquarters, Standard Bank Centre, is situated in Simmonds Street, Johannesburg.[4]

Standard Bank Group Limited
Company typePublic
Founded15 October 1862; 161 years ago (1862-10-15)[1]
HeadquartersStandard Bank Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
Area served
Key people
Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita
Sim Tshabalala
Chief Executive Officer
ProductsCommercial Banking
Foreign Currency Exchange
Investment Banking
Investment Management
Private Banking
Consumer Banking
Wealth Management
RevenueDecrease US$ 8.61 Billion (2016)
Decrease US$ 1.54 Billion (2016)
Total assetsIncrease US$ 142.9 Billion (2016)
Number of employees
Increase 54,767 (2016) Edit this at Wikidata



The bank now known as Standard Bank was formed in 1862 as a South African subsidiary of the British overseas bank Standard Bank, under the name The Standard Bank of South Africa.

The bank's origins can be traced to 1862, when a group of businessmen led by the prominent South African politician John Paterson[5][6] formed a bank in London, initially under the name Standard Bank of British South Africa. The bank started operations in 1863 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and soon after opening it merged with several other banks including the Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth, the Colesberg Bank, the British Kaffrarian Bank and the Fauresmith Bank.

It was prominent in financing and development of the diamond fields of Kimberley in 1867. The word "British" was dropped from the title in 1883. When gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand, the bank expanded northwards and on 11 October 1886 the bank started doing business in a tent at Ferreira's Camp (later to be called Johannesburg),[7] thus becoming the first bank to open a branch on the Witwatersrand gold fields. On 1 November 1901 a second branch was opened in Eloff Street of Johannesburg.

Standard Bank in Adderley St, Cape Town

Until 1962 the British bank was formally known as the Standard Bank of South Africa, although by then its operations spread across Africa. When the South African operations were formed into a subsidiary in 1962, the parent changed its name to Standard Bank Limited, and the South African subsidiary took its parent's previous name.

In 1967 shares in the Standard Bank of South Africa were offered to the South African public, although the British parent company retained over 80% of the shares.[8]

The parent bank merged in 1969 with Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China and the combined bank became known as Standard Chartered Bank. In 1969 the Standard Bank Investment Corporation (now Standard Bank Group) was established as the holding company of the South African bank. During the 1970s and 1980s Standard Chartered gradually reduced its shareholding, and sold its remaining 39% stake in Standard Bank Group in 1987, transferring complete ownership of the holding company to South African investors and in particular Liberty Life (and its affiliates), with the latter being the company's major shareholder until 1999.[8]

In March 2019, Standard became the first bank in Africa to shift its operations onto Amazon Web Services.[9]

In March 2019, the bank announced a reduction of 91 branches and 1200 staff. The decision was taken due to a growing use of self-service channels and a branch network becoming less relevant.[citation needed][10][11]

In July 2021, Standard Bank announced that it would increase its stake in Liberty Holdings, a South African insurance company, from 54% to 100%, for $594 million. [12]

Expansion and acquisitions




In 1992 the bank acquired the operations of ANZ Grindlays Bank in eight African countries. Most of the newly acquired banks were renamed Stanbic Bank, to avoid confusion with the former parent (and now competitor), Standard Chartered, which continued to operate in Africa.[8] Several more banks in Africa were acquired during the 1990s, and adopted the Stanbic name.[8] Standard Bank now trades under the name Stanbic Bank in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.



Standard Bank Eswatini opened its doors in 1988 and is today a leading commercial bank in the country.[13]

Ivory Coast


In February 2014, Standard Bank Group is expected to open a representative office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, marking the entry of the banking conglomerate into Francophone West Africa. Ivory Coast becomes the 19th African country where Standard Bank maintains a subsidiary.[14]



In December 2001, Standard Bank acquired 60.18% holding in the Commercial Bank of Malawi. The bank was renamed Standard Bank Malawi.



In Madagascar, the group is represented by Union Commercial Bank.[15]



Standard Bank SARL ("SBM") has a long history and is considered one of the leaders of the local market. Already active in Mozambique for 120 years. The network's Standard Bank is one of the largest in the country. Covers all major towns and cities of Mozambique, with 44 branches.[16]


Standard Bank in Windhoek

The Standard Bank Namibia is largely detached from the South African parent company for legal reasons. The bank was established in Namibia by the first commercial branch on 19 August 1915 in Lüderitz. It's one of the largest banks in Namibia and operates from more than 50 branches.[17]



On 21 August 2007 Standard Bank Group acquired controlling interest in IBTC Chartered Bank. founded by the merger of the International Banking & Trust Company Plc and Chartered Bank Plc. This gave subsidiary Stanbic IBTC Holdings significant presence in the Nigerian market.


Stanbic Bank building in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

In 1995, the bank acquired the operations of the Meridien BIAO Bank and renamed it Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited.[8] In September 2012, Stanbic Bank Tanzania secured financing worth $3 billion for Mchuchuma Iron Ore and Liganga Coal mining project in the Ludewa district of the newly created region of Njombe in southwestern Tanzania.[18]



In 2002, Standard Bank acquired 90 percent of Uganda Commercial Bank, the largest commercial bank in Uganda at that time, making Standard Bank a major actor in the banking sector of that East African country. They renamed the bank Stanbic Bank (Uganda) Limited. As of December 2012, Stanbic Bank (Uganda) was still Uganda's largest commercial bank with approximately 20 percent of all bank assets and about 18 percent of all bank branches in the country.[19] The stock of Stanbic Bank (Uganda) Limited is traded on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) under the symbol SBU. Standard Bank Group maintains approximately 80 percent shareholding.[20]

In 2015 Stanbic Bank was involved in a fraud scandal involving money transfers from the Swedish embassy to private accounts of a former embassy employee.[21]



Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited operates as a registered commercial bank in Zimbabwe. In November 1992, Standard Bank began operations in Zimbabwe as Stanbic Bank.



United Kingdom


In the early 1990s the bank started operations in London, and Standard Bank London Ltd was awarded a banking licence in 1992.[8]

It was announced at the end of July 2013 that Standard Bank was in talks to sell its markets business in London to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China for more than $500 million.[22] In November 2013, Standard Bank confirmed it was in talks to sell a controlling stake in its London-based global markets business.[23]

In January 2014 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Standard Bank PLC (Standard Bank) £7,640,400 for failings relating to its anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures over corporate customers connected to politically exposed persons (PEPs). Between 15 December 2007 and 20 July 2011, Standard Bank failed to comply with Regulation 20(1) of the Money Laundering Regulations because it failed to take reasonable care to ensure that all aspects of its AML policies were applied appropriately and consistently to its corporate customers connected to PEPs.[24]

Isle of Man

Statue of Manx Poet T.E Brown on Prospect Hill, Douglas Isle of Man, IM1 1SB

Standard Bank has operations in the Isle of Man.



Standard Bank has operations in Jersey.

Standard Bank in Jersey



Also in August 2007, Standard Bank Group acquired a 67% share of the Turkish bank Dundas Ünlü Securities and now operates in Turkey under the name of Standard Ünlü. The Bank sold its shares down to 25% in April 2012 and the Turkish sub was renamed ÜNLÜ & Co. afterwards.



On 6 March 2009, Standard Bank announced plans to acquire 33% of Russia's second biggest investment bank, Troika Dialog. Troika, which was Russia's oldest brokerage, acquired Standard Bank's Russian banking operation, and in addition received cash of $200-million in the form of a 'convertible loan'.[25] Two executives of Standard Bank joined Troika's six-member board. In March 2011, Sberbank, number one bank in Russia by the size of capital and assets, bought Troika Dialog [2] and paid Standard Bank $372 million for its 36.4% stake in Troika.



In 2006, Standard Bank bought BankBoston Argentina unit expanding its operations into this country. In 2012, ICBC acquired 80% of its shares. Rebranding occurred in April 2013.

Investments in Standard Bank


Loan deal with Chinese banks


On 11 September 2009 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), Bank of China, China Development Bank, China CITIC Bank initiated $1Billion club loan to Standard Bank.[26]

ICBC deal


In October 2007 the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China acquired a stake of about 20% in Standard Bank for US$5.5bn. Half the stake came from ICBC acquiring existing shares and half from new shares. ICBC will also get two seats on the board of directors.

Bank charges


In 2005 Standard Bank was rated as having the lowest bank charges in South Africa. By 2010 that had changed, to the extent that Standard Bank was rated by Finweek's review of SA bank charges as having amongst the highest bank charges in the country.[27] A report by Afriforum confirmed Standard Bank's position as having the highest bank charges in the country along with Absa Bank.[28]

Customer service


The South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) of 2015 and 2016 rated Standard Bank as being lowest among South African banks in terms of customer service. Its overall movement in this index has shown a mild decline from previous ratings.[29]

Consumer satisfaction at Standard Bank rose by 2.4%, from 75.3 in 2019 to 77.7 in 2020.[30]

That is still the lowest among South Africa's biggest banks.

See also



  1. ^ Amphlett, George Thomas (1914). "I - Establishment of the Standard Bank of British South Africa, now called the Standard Bank of South Africa". History of the Standard Bank of South Africa ltd., 1862-1913. Glasgow, Printed by R. Maclehose. p. 1.
  2. ^ [1], |access date 12 April 2022
  3. ^ "Why McKinsey is under attack in South Africa". The Economist. 12 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Standard Bank South Africa". Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  5. ^ Amphlett, George Thomas (1914). "I - Establishment of the Standard Bank of British South Africa, now called the Standard Bank of South Africa". History of the Standard Bank of South Africa ltd., 1862-1913. Glasgow, Printed by R. Maclehose. p. 3.
  6. ^ Walker, Eric Anderson (1929). The Cambridge History of the British Empire. CUP Archive. p.381
  7. ^ Musiker, Naomi (1999). Historical dictionary of Greater Johannesburg. Internet Archive. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8108-3520-7.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Standard Bank Group: Historical Overview Archived 13 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Africa's Largest Bank Chooses Amazon to Become Continent's "First Bank in the Cloud"". Forbes.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "S.Africa's Standard Bank to buy remaining Liberty stake for $729 million". Reuters. 15 July 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  13. ^ Standard Bank Eswatini, About us, |access date 6. June 2020
  14. ^ "West Africa: Standard Bank Expands Its Africa Footprint". Standard Bank (Johannesburg). 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Home | Standard Bank - South Africa". Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  16. ^ publish, powered by eZ. "Particulares / Std bank - Standard Bank Moçambique". (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 5 July 2017. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  17. ^ About Standard Bank Namibia
  18. ^ Leonard Magomba (25 September 2012). "Tanzania: Mining Firm Acquires U.S. $3 Billion From Banks" (via East African Business Week. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  19. ^ Assets and Market Share Among Commercial Banks in Uganda
  20. ^ "Uganda Securities Exchange | Building your investment portfolio". Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Swedish embassy scammed for millions", Dagens Nyheter, Sweden, 2015, retrieved 31 October 2015
  22. ^ Standard Bank to sell London business to ICBC for over $500 mln, International: Reuters, 2013
  23. ^ Standard Bank says in talks to sell London trading unit, International: Reuters, 2014
  24. ^ Standard Bank PLC fined £7.6m for failures in its anti-money laundering controls, International: FCA, 2014
  25. ^ "Standard Bank buys 33% of Russia's Troika". The Mail & Guardian. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  26. ^ Standard Bank Signs Loan Deal With Chinese Banks
  27. ^ reporter (27 September 2010). "SA's most expensive bank". Retrieved 9 February 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ "Afriforum: Standard Bank and Absa is South Africa's most expensive banks". Afriforum. 3 November 2010. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  29. ^ "Business Tech: Best and worst banks in South Africa". Business Tech. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  30. ^ Staff Writer. "South Africa's best and worst banks according to customers". Retrieved 22 April 2022.