Battle of the private banks: who’s the biggest in Africa?

2014-02-14 11:32

Investec is by far the largest private bank in Africa with $23.7 billion (R260 billion) in African assets under management.

This is according to a private banking survey conducted in Africa, Asia and the Middle East by New World Wealth consultancy.

Seven out of the top ten banks on the list are South African; while two are UK banks and one is the branch of a bank in Luxemburg.

The second-largest private bank in Africa is Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a subsidiary of banking giant FirstRand group, with $13.3 billion under management while the third spot goes to PSG Konsult with $10.7 billion worth of African assets under management.

Nedbank was in the fourth position with $8.6 billion African assets under management and Sanlam rounded out the top five with $6.8 billion under management, according to the report.

Absa, which is now part of UK banking group Barclays, was in sixth position with $6 billion African assets under management and Standard Bank and Citadel were in eighth and ninth position with $2.1 billion and $2 billion worth of assets under management respectively.

Globally, the results support the rhetoric often seen in movies about the popularity of Swiss bank accounts.

Two of the biggest private banks in the world are Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse.

UBS has about $1 trillion worth of assets under management and Credit Suisse houses about $873 billion in assets.

“The likes of Switzerland, the Channel Islands, the Caribbean, Singapore, Luxemburg and Hong Kong are often referred to as ‘offshore centres’ as they attract large volumes of offshore funds,” the report said.

Singapore was noted as an area of growth in private banking.

“Assets managed in Singapore have risen from US$50 billion in 2000 to US$850 billion in 2013, making it the fastest-growing private banking centre in the world. Singapore has become the private banking destination of choice for wealthy Chinese, Indian and Indonesian individuals in particular.”

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