In the beginning...
The Cape Colony, at the southern tip of Africa, was flourishing in the 1850s. Many
of the small-town banks that had started in 1837 were doing well and 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. But the dream was pursued 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 was established. On 15 October 1862 the bank was incorporated and registered
as a limited liability company. Its capital was fixed at ₤1,000,000 with 10,000
shares of ₤100 each.
Operations commenced immediately in London and by January 1863 the bank's
agents in Port Elizabeth and Alexander Croll & Company were discounting bills. Over
the next 50 years a branch network was established throughout southern Africa. The
Port Elizabeth office was to remain Standard Bank's South African headquarters for
The word "British" was dropped from the name.
In 1962 a subsidiary company was formed to carry business in South and South West
Africa (now Namibia) under the bank's old name. The name Standard Bank Limited was
adopted for the holding company in England (subsequently to become Standard Chartered
Standard Bank Group was established in 1969 as Standard Bank Investment Corporation
- the holding company of SBSA.
Standard Chartered sold its 39% stake in Standard Bank Group in 1987, transferring
complete ownership of the holding company to South Africa.
The re-establishment of Standard Bank's African links began in 1988, with the establishment of a branch in Swaziland.
In 1991 Standard Bank established a bank in Botswana and acquired ANZ Grindlays
operations in Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and minority
holdings in banks in Ghana and Nigeria.
The group also expanded further afield. Standard Bank London was established in
1992 and in the same year operations in Jersey and the Isle of Man were acquired.
Two years later, the Isle of Man presence was broadened considerably with the acquisition
of Standard Chartered's banking activities on the island. Standard Bank also has
a full branch in Taipei and full bank status in Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and
2001 - 2006
Standard Bank Group acquired Jardine Fleming Bank Limited in July 2001. The group
also acquired Uganda Commercial Bank and control of Banco Totta de Mocambique, and
established investment banks in Russia and Brazil. A representative office was
established in Angola in 2006.
Standard Bank took control of BankBoston Argentina with effect from 1 April 2007 and renamed it Standard Bank Argentina.
Standard Bank acquired a 61% share of Dundas Ünlü with effect 1 September 2007 and
commenced operations in Turkey under the name of Standard Ünlü.
Standard Bank's Nigerian operation, Stanbic Bank (Nigeria), was merged with those
of IBTC Chartered Bank Plc (IBTC) and Standard Bank acquired sufficient additional
shares at a total value of R2,8 billion in the enlarged IBTC to establish a controlling
interest with effect from 24 September 2007.
In December 2007, shareholders approved the transaction whereby Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China (ICBC) invested R36,7 billion in Standard Bank for a 20% shareholding.
A 60% interest in CfC Bank (renamed CfC Stanbic Holdings) in Kenya was acquired
effective 1 June 2008.
Standard Bank increased its effective holding in Liberty from 32,8% to 53,7% during
the year and simplified its holding structure.
The group acquired a 36% interest in Troika Dialog Group in Russia.
Standard Bank Group acquired the 50% it did not own of Credit Suisse Standard Securities,
and renamed it SBG Securities, which commenced operating in January 2011.
The group opened its first branch in Angola.
On 11 March 2011, the disposal of Troika Dialog Group was agreed upon and announced.