The USA has slightly less than 8,000 Banks/Credit Unions. For the rest of the world, you could estimate it by averaging 30 Banks/ Credit Unions per country, so for 220 countries/territories, that would be 6,600. So one could assume the figure would hover close to 14,600  +/- 1500 Banks Worldwide.


A Bank is a licensed and regulated Financial Institution that lends money, accepts deposits and carries out other Financial Transactions for its clients.

There are three main types of Banks : 
  • Central Banks
  • Investment Banks
  • Retail Banks


You may hear of different types of Banks : Investment Banks, Retail Banks, Commercial Banks, Online Banks, and others. What do all the words mean ? Different types of Banks specialize in different lines of business. See the basics on each type of Bank.

Banks come with a variety of names, and one bank can function as several different types of banks. Some of the most common types of Banks are :
  1. RETAIL BANKS - provides basic banking services to Individual Consumers.
  2. COMMERCIAL BANKS - handles banking needs for Large and Small Businesses.
  3. INVESTMENT BANKS - works in Investment Markets and do not take Customer Deposits.
  4. CENTRAL BANKS - Central Bank of a country - primarily manages a Monetary System. 
  5. DEVELOPMENT BANKS - institutions dedicated to fund new and upcoming businesses and economic development projects by providing equity capital and/or loan capital.
  6. CREDIT UNIONS - like Banks, but they are owned by their Members or Customers.
  7. ONLINE BANKS - allows one to manage your money Online over the Internet.
  8. SAVINGS & LOANS - specialized Banks created to promote Affordable Home Ownership.

This is a List of Commercial Banks in South Africa

Locally Controlled Banks

Absa Bank
African Bank Limited
Bidvest Bank Limited
Capitec Bank
Commercial Bank of South Africa PLC
First National Bank
FirstRand Bank - A subsidiary of First Rand Limited
Grindrod Limited
Imperial Bank South Africa
Investec Bank Limited
Nedbank Limited
Sasfin Bank Limited
Standard Bank of South Africa
Teba Bank Limited

Foreign-Controlled Banks

Barclays Africa Group
Albaraka Bank Limited
Habib Overseas Bank Limited
Habib Bank AG Zurich
Mercantile Bank Limited
South African Bank of Athens Limited

Branches of Foreign Banks

Bank of Baroda
Bank of China
Bank of Taiwan
BNP Paribas
Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank
China Construction Bank Corporation
Citibank N.A.
Deutsche Bank AG
JPMorgan Chase Bank
Société Générale
Standard Chartered Bank
State Bank of India
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
Royal Bank of Scotland

Foreign Bank Representatives

AfrAsia Bank Limited
Banco Africano de Investimentos
Banco BIC
Banco BPI SA
Banco Espirito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa
Banco Santander Totta S.A.
Bank Leumi Le-Israel BM
Bank of America
Bank of Cyprus Group
Bank of India
Barclays Bank Plc
Barclays Private Clients International Limited
Commerzbank AG Johannesburg
Credit Suisse AG
Export-Import Bank of India
Fairbairn Private Bank (Isle of Man) Limited
Fairbairn Private Bank (Jersey) Limited
First Bank of Nigeria
First City Monument Bank Plc
Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited
HSBC Bank International Limited
ICICI Bank Limited
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
KfW Ipex-Bank GmbH
Lloyds TSB Offshore Limited
Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited
Millennium BCP
National Bank of Egypt
Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited
Société Générale
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
The Bank of New York Mellon
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Limited
The Export-Import Bank of China
The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V.
Unicredit Bank AG
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc
Wells Fargo Bank
Zenith Bank Plc

Mutual Banks

GBS Mutual Bank
VBS Mutual Bank
Finbond Mutual Bank

Other banks

Development Bank of Southern Africa

Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa


South African Reserve Bank