Standard Bank of South Africa

Topics: Bank, Africa, Banks Pages: 21 (7122 words) Published: September 18, 2013
Standard Bank Group
Historical overview

SBSA 605841

Hoisting the Standard
Standard Bank aspires to be a leading emerging markets financial service provider with excellent service and solutions for its customers while also visibly achieving social relevance. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the bank has strategic representation in 17 sub-Saharan countries and also in 16 countries on other continents with an emerging market focus.

Standard Bank vision
We aspire to be a leading emerging markets financial services organisation.

Standard Bank strategy
To build a leading emerging markets financial services organisation using all our competitive advantages to the full. We focus on delivering superior sustainable shareholder value by serving the needs of our customers and where appropriate connecting them globally. The key differentiator in achieving our strategy is our people.

Standard Bank Heritage Centre

Hoisting the Standard
In the 1850s South Africa’s Cape Colony flourished and numerous small town banks which had come into existence since 1837 were doing well, paying dividends of 12% to 20%. The staple export was wool and Port Elizabeth, the major port, was experiencing economic prosperity as never before. In June 1857 a group of businessmen attempted to establish the Standard Bank of Port Elizabeth. Nothing came of the venture, presumably because investors were wary of two existing banks in Port Elizabeth. Still the dream persisted and John Paterson, the man behind the idea, sailed to England to encourage British investors to support the scheme. Paterson's efforts were successful and in April 1860 a prospectus for The Standard Bank of British South Africa was published in London. Two years after the appearance of its prospectus, The Standard Bank of British South Africa, Limited was established. On 13 October 1862 the Memorandum of Association was signed and on 15 October the bank was incorporated and registered as a limited liability company. Its capital was fixed at £1 000 000 in 10 000 shares of £100 each. The shares were eagerly taken up by capitalists in England who were aware of the value of Cape investments. Operations commenced immediately in London and by January 1863 the bank's agents in Port Elizabeth, Alexander Croll & Company, were discounting bills. The Port Elizabeth office was to remain Standard Bank’s colonial headquarters for 23 years. By 1874 the shareholding of the bank comprised mainly people either resident in the Cape Colony or with direct business relations with it.

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Expansion
A feature which distinguished the Imperial banks such as Standard Bank from the local private banks was the establishment of a branch network. Where possible, Standard Bank tried to absorb existing town banks, bringing into its fold in the first 15 years: • Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth • Colesberg Bank • British Kaffrarian Bank • Fauresmith Bank • Beaufort West Bank • Fort Beaufort and Victoria Bank • Albert Bank, Burghersdorp • Swellendam Bank • London and South African Bank • Caledon Agricultural Bank • Malmesbury Agricultural and Commercial Bank (est 1853) in 1863 (est 1861) in 1863 (est 1857) in 1863 (est 1863) in 1863 (est 1854) in 1864 (est 1860) in 1873 (est 1861) in 1874 (est 1852) in 1877 (est 1860) in 1877 (est 1861) in 1878 (est 1862) in 1878

Hoisting the Standard

In towns where there was economic potential but no local bank or the local bank did not agree to amalgamation, branch banks of Standard Bank were opened. Branch extension closely followed the expansion of the Cape (and later Natal) railway line, with branches opening at centres forming the temporary railhead at the end of the line. Railways made markets more accessible, boosting economic development and commercial growth. Banking supplies such as ledger books, printed forms, safes, and the like, were not locally available and had to be shipped from England. Each branch had its own note issue, the forms of which...
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