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Best South African Bank for Expats?

JennyK's picture
By JennyK - Posted on
29 April 2011
Hi All- I've been an expat in South Africa for just over four years and pretty much decided to open a bank account with Standard Bank for the obvious reason that it was the branch closest to my house and I was too lazy to walk elsewhere or research more extensively. Now, finally, I'm considering settling more permanently and suddenly my South African bank becomes important because, hey, I need a loan! Just wondering if any expats have been through this process and can recommend which bank is the most conciliatory toward offering foreigners a bit of cash to play with.
Stephanie Katz's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 weeks ago
Joined: 06/04/2011


If you've been with Standard Bank for four years I would say they're the most logical bank to approach because you have a history with them. Do you have a South Africa credit card? If you've been building a credit history here it will certainly help you in securing a loan. I haven't been through this process myself, but would also be interested to find out the outcome. Please let me know what happens!

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Sine's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 weeks ago
Joined: 10/02/2011

Living in:
Brentwood, TN

Born in Germany, American citizen, lived in Johannesburg 2010-2013

Sine's Website
Just saw this so my comment may be a bit late, but I just received some reader feedback on opening a bank account and wanted to pass it on. If you are a foreigner, you should think twice about choosing ABSA - apparently, they close your account and freeze your funds as soon as your visa expires, and even the letter from Home Affairs that everyone gets in such cases to tide you over until they issue the new visa will not make them relent. So, steer clear of ABSA.

I would also suggest staying with Standard Bank. We have had no such issues with them, and they seem okay, and I also don't think prices are that much different from bank to bank. One of my readers has suggested Investec for their excellent service but I don't know if they offer loans.

See full article with reader comments here:
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