10 Biggest Banks in Africa by Assets

South Africa, Egypt and Morocco dominate this list with banks such as Absa, Banque Misr and Attijariwafa. These major African financial institutions have continuously set the standards for banking on the continent, rivaling even those from the rest of the world.

See complete list of the ten biggest commercial banks in Africa by assets below.

1. Standard Bank

Assets –  $147.9 billion

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited is Africa’s biggest lender by assets. 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 company’s corporate headquarters, Standard Bank Centre, is situated in Simmonds Street, Johannesburg. 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. Currently, Standard Bank operates in more than 20 countries in Africa and abroad.

2. First Rand

BankTrack – FirstRand

Total Assets: $87.5 billion

FirstRand Limited is a financial services provider in South Africa and one of the five largest banking groups in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The bank operates in South Africa, certain markets in sub-Saharan Africa such as Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria as well as in the UK, and India. The group has its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

3. National Bank of Egypt

Total Assets: $86.2 billion

National Bank of Egypt is a bank founded in Egypt in June 1898, and is the country’s largest bank in terms of assets, deposits, loans, bank-capital, number of total branches, and employees. NBE has 338 branches within the country, as of 2007, the National Bank of Egypt accounted for 23% of the Egyptian banking system’s total assets, 25% of total deposits and 25% of total loans and advances. NBE also accounts for 74% of the credit card market and 40% of the debit cards in Egypt.

4. Absa Bank

Total Assets – $73.6 billion

Absa Bank Limited (ABL), formerly known as Amalgamated Banks of South Africa, is a commercial bank in South Africa and a subsidiary of Absa Group Limited. The bank’s headquarters are located on the 7th Floor of Absa Towers West, 15 Troye Street, Johannesburg, South Africa. Absa Bank Limited is one of the largest commercial banks in South Africa. As of 31 December 2018, the bank’s total assets were ZAR:1,289,000,000,000 (US$73,691,500,000) Absa Group as a whole has presence in 12 countries across the continent and around 42 000 employees.

5. NedBank 

Total Assets: $67.4 billion

Nedbank Group is a financial services group headquartered in Johannesburg South Africa Nedbank’s primary market is South Africa, but also operates through subsidiaries and banks in Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as offices in Angola and Kenya. Outside Africa, Nedbank has offices to provide international financial services for Africa-based clients in Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. In 2014, Nedbank acquired an associate stake of 20% in Ecobank. The Nedbank-Ecobank Alliance is the largest banking network in Africa, with more than 2,000 branches in 39 countries.

6. Attijariwafa Bank

Total Assets: $53.3 billion

Attijariwafa Bank is a Moroccan multinational commercial bank and financial services company founded and based in Rabat, Morocco. It is the top in Morocco and exists as part of king Mohammed VI’s holding company the SNI. The bank maintains offices in Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Shanghai, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Senegal, Ghana, Mauritania and Mali.

7. Banque Misr

Total Assets: $49.4 billion

Banque Misr is an Egyptian bank founded in 1920 and nationalized by the government of the United Arab Republic in 1960. The bank has branch offices in all of Egypt’s governorates, and currency exchange and work permit offices for foreign workers in Egypt.

8. Banque Populaire

Total Assets: $41.4 billion

La Banque Centrale Populaire is a major bank in Morocco that as of 2012, had 27.9% market share of customer deposits in the country. The bank maintains overseas offices in Germany, England, Canada, Spain, France, Gibraltar, Netherlands and Belgium. 

9. Investec

Total Assets: $37.5 billion

Investec is an international banking and wealth management group. It provides a range of financial products and services to a client base in Europe, Southern Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Investec employs approximately 8,300 people worldwide and operates primarily in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland. It also has banking operations in Switzerland, Mauritius, Guernsey, Hong Kong, India, Jersey, and the United States.

10. BMCE

Total Assets: $30.9 billion

The Moroccan Bank of Foreign Commerce, or BMCE Bank is a large commercial bank in Morocco that operates over 697 branches in Morocco alone, and 560 branches in the rest of the african continent. BMCE has offices in international Country in Europe, Asia, France, Spain, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Germany, UAE, Belgium, Canada and Netherlands

Written by Emeka Nweze

Content writer and contributor.

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