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You are here:Export Network >Export financiers> South African banks and exports



South African banks and exports


Banks active in the international trade market

The big four banks in South Africa that offer all of the traditional banking services one would expect from an international trade point of view, are:

Standard Bank

International division

Foreign exchange

Forex rates

First National Bank

International division

Foreign exchange

Forex rates


International division

Foreign exchange

Forex rates


International division

Foreign exchange

Not listed

Then there are other less traditional and in some cases more specialised banks that also cover the international trade finance filed. These are:

  • Rennies Bank is not a traditional bank, but they are very focused on international financial matters and are therefore definitely worth approaching. Rennies have an international division that is particularly focused on international trade financing and payments, and they are also active in the foreign exchange market and operate numerous retail forex branches around the country. They offer a range of specialist forex services that are particularly well-suited for the foreign traveller.
  • Although not a traditional bank, Grindrod Bank is part of the Grindrod Group which is an organisation very focused on freight forwarding and international trade. Their banking division is aimed at facilitating international trade and you may well want to consider this bank together with those listed above.
  • Sasfin Bank is another bank worth considering because, while they are not traditional banks offering traditional banking services as those listed above, they are involved in trade finance and the financing of freight forwarding, customs clearing and logistics-related expenses.
  • Rand Merchant Bank is another bank that provides services aimed at the international trade community, in particular international investment financing. Providing foreign exchange is another of their services.
  • Investec Bank is definitely not a typical bank, but they do offer export credit facilities. for international trade activities
  • Although not really a bank, American Express run numerous forex outlets throughout the country and they are worth a call if you need to purchase (or sell) limited amounts of foreign exchange (you would use them more for travel purposes than for making or receiving international payments).
  • Land Bank is not really a bank. It is more of a financing institution and specialises in agricultural and agri-business financing.

Other banks

These are typically retail-type banks (i.e. operating in the individual banking market) or banks that run specialised (non-trade) financing operations (such as vehicle or asset financing):

  • African Bank – More of a personal bank than a corporate/business bank
  • Wesbank – Primary focus is vehicle financing
  • Capitec Bank – A retail bank focusing mainly on individual accounts
  • Go Bank – More of a savings bank
  • Imperial Bank – Primary focus is vehicle/medical/property financing
  • Meeg Bank – Another bank focused more on the individual than the corporate market.
  • Teba Bank – This is a bank established to service the entry-level individual market and they also operate in the micro-finance sector
  • Mercantile Bank – Who knows what they do – their website certainly doesn’t say much about them
  • GBS Mutual Bank – A local, Eastern Cape-based bank operating in the retail banking market.
  • The Banking Association – The industry ‘watchdog’

Additional links

Click here to read Standard Bank’s “Lending Guidelines”

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