What are some facts about the First National Bank of South Africa?


Quick Answer

The First National Bank of South Africa is one of the largest banking service providers in the country. FNB provides checking and savings accounts, loans, financial planning and insurance for both individuals and corporations. FNB is part of the FirstRand Group and is one of the top three banks in the country.

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Full Answer

FNB traces its roots to the Eastern Province Bank formed in Grahamstown in 1838, making it the oldest bank in South Africa. By 1874, the Eastern Province Bank had branches in Grahamstown, Middelburg, Cradock and Queenstown.

That same year, the Oriental Bank Corporation bought out the bank. When the OBC withdrew from South Africa in 1879, the Bank of Africa formed. A little over a decade later, the South African government established a bank to assist with financing agricultural development. The National Bank of the South African Republic Limited began operations in 1891. In 1902, the bank's name changed to the National Bank of South Africa Limited.

The National Bank bought out the Bank of Africa in 1912, joining one of the strongest and largest banks in South Africa. In the 1920s, however, the National Bank suffered heavy losses and was forced to merge with two other banks to form Barclays Bank. Barclays remained a prominent banking provider until the mid-1980s, when the company sold its shareholding to preserve its international reputation in light of South African apartheid.

The bank was renamed the First National Bank of Southern Africa Limited in 1987. FNB became a part of FirstRand Bank in 1998.

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