Banks/Banking in South Africa
The prime monetary authority is the South African Reserve Bank and it is the custodian of foreign and gold exchange reserves. The Reserve Bank’s functions include protecting the currency value as well as controlling inflation.
The money regulation is done by influencing the cost that includes the charge of interest on loans to institutions. Technically, it is free from government control, yet it works with the Treasury and assists in formulating as well as in implementing macroeconomic policy.
The recent years after independence, the financial as well as banking sectors have shown considerable changes. The importance of various banks gained articulate dimension and recently various banks in South Africa have enhanced their service levels as well as product categories meeting the current times demands.
Their various products such as credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, finance and foreign exchange have made them stand apart and the overall financial scenario is complementing.
The banks in South Africa are the National Bank of South Africa, Standard Bank of South Africa, South African Reserve Bank, ABN AMRO- South Africa and Development Bank of Southern Africa. The National Bank of South Africa is the largest and has diversified fields including personal as well as institutional banking services. Standard Bank is also an extensive bank offering personal and corporate banking facilities.
South African Reserve Bank is the central bank, ABN AMRO is a leading bank and the Development Banks are the financer and also cater personal and corporate banking system. These are the top banks in South Africa.
The industry of banking in South Africa has currently 55 banks with 12 foreign banks branches and 4 mutual banks. There are major groups dominating the banking sector namely, Standard Bank Investment Corprn Ltd, ABSA Group Limited, Nedcor Limited and First National Bank Holding Limited. These groups have networks in 9 provinces and hold nearly 70% total assets.
These banks in South Africa offer good services to corporate and individual customers. Conversely, there are many banks specializing in offering merchant banking services and other niche area services. The universal banking emphasis has gained importance and is convenient to the users.