6 Best Banks In South Africa 2021 – Who Won The #1 Spot?!

TWO BIG FACTORS, according to Consulta, that defines a leading bank in the eyes of the customers are how well the banks:

  1. Treat their customers.
  2. Reward their customers with hard cash without making the rewards system overly complicated.

That said, which bank is the best in South Africa?

According to data from a Consulta customer survey, Capitec is the best bank in South Africa. Capitec has an overall customer satisfaction score of 84.7%, and a customer loyalty score of 76.7% which is above global benchmarks.

That said, what is the worst bank in South Africa?

According to data from a Consulta customer survey, Standard Bank is the worse bank in South Africa. Standard Bank has an overall customer satisfaction score of 77.7%, and a customer loyalty score of 69.3% which is the lowest in South Africa when compared to five of the other major banks such as Capitec.

Below is a table that breaks down all Consulta customer survey for 6 of the largest banks in South Africa.

In this article, we will look into this data so that we can better understand why customers rate Capitec as the best bank, and how other banks compare.

BankOver All Consumer SatisfactionCustomer LoyaltyTreating Customers FairlyComplaints IncidenceComplaints ResolutionNet Promoter Score
2.African Bank83.4%76.2%86.314%59.7%50.8%
6.Standard Bank77.7%69.3%22.5%51.9%24.4%
6 major banks in South Africa based with a breakdown of 2020 Consulta and BrandsEye customer data.

The information above was gathered from a Consulta Poll—polled 12,500 customers—which is extremely helpful when determining the best bank in South Africa.

The poll covered questions to determine:

A. Over All Consumer Satisfaction Index (Sacsi) for banking in South Africa 2020:

B. Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty reveals how likely a customer will be willing to stay with the bank. The higher the customer loyalty rating, the more likely the bank is to do a good job at keeping their customers happy.

C. Treating Customers Fairly

This score shows if customers feel like the bank has treated them fairly or not. An indication of customer support and rewards.

“Banks continue to be poor at preventing repeat causes of complaints and customer dissatisfaction once resolved, which directly correlates with customer loyalty”


D. How Likely Is a Bank to Resolve Your Complaint?

This section is designed to look at two things. How many incidents a bank gets, and more importantly, how likely are they to resolve these complaints.

E. NPS score. How Likely People Are Willing To Recommend A Brand To Family Or Friends?

NPS score or also known as net promoter score gives an indication of how likely a person is willing to recommend a bank to family or friends. The higher the percentage, the more likely it is.

NPS score or net promoter score of major banks in South Africa 2019 and 2020.

Taking all of this information into consideration, here are the top 6 banks of South Africa in 2021:

01. Capitec (Winner)

Capitec in recent years has been making a lot of headway when it comes to satisfying their customers.

In 2020, they not only achieved the highest overall customer satisfaction score of 84.7%, but they also increased that figure from 2019, which shows they keep improving.

On top of that, they beat every other bank in most of the customer rating categories mentioned below.

  • Highest loyalty rate of 76.7%.
  • Tied with African bank when it came to how they treat their customers at 86.3%.
  • Extremely low incident rate of only 11.9%. The lowest out of all 6 banks mentioned here.
  • Resolved complaints efficiently and effectively with a second-highest score of 55.4%, just below African bank which has a whopping 59.7% complaints resolution rate.
  • Highest NPS score of 56.6%, which means people were more likely to recommend Capitec to their friends and family than any other bank on this list.

To conclude, Capitect seems to be well-liked by their customers and this only seems to be getting better and better year over year.

02. African Bank

African bank came extremely close to claiming the number one spot this year, however, they missed it by the skin of their teeth. Here’s why.

  • Complaints incident rate is a lot higher than Capitec. African bank achieved 14%, while Capitec achieved 11.9%. This shows that African Bank customers receive a lot more complaints when compared to Capitec.
  • This may indicate why African Bank has the second-lowest NPS score of 50.8%.
  • That said, African Bank does a great job at resolving the complaints that they do get. Complaints resolution rate is at 59.7% which isn’t just the highest out of all 6 banks mentioned here, but also well within global benchmarks.

To conclude, even though African Bank didn’t claim the number one spot in the eyes of the consumer, they still seem to be one of the best in South Africa.

03. Nedbank

Even though Nedbank hasn’t achieved the number 1 spot in South Africa, it’s a bank that everyone needs to keep an eye on because it’s one of the fastest growers in the last 5 years when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Nedbank achieved rapid growth in every customer satisfaction category when comparing 2020 to 2019 data. This indicates that the company is on the right track, and is still worth considering.

  • Achieved an 81.1% satisfaction rating. This is a 0.9% increase from 2019 which is significant.
  • Increased their customer loyalty from 69.4% in 2016 to 73.5% in 2020.
  • Increased their NPS score from 38.1% to 40.8%.

If I had to summarize Nedbank in one word, I would say “growth.” Over the past 5 years, they keep improving scores, which means they are more than likely on the right track.

04. FNB

FNB is a disappointing one. Not only because they’re the largest bank in South Africa, but also because I personally bank with them.

To put it plainly, the numbers I’m about to share with you below don’t surprise me at all.

  • FNB has one of the lowest overall customer ratings on this list with a score of 80.2%, and declining year over year
  • Has the highest complaint rate of 23% and the lowest complaint resolution rate, which is not a great combination. This means FNB is not doing a great job at helping its customers. Which I can attest to.
  • The customer loyalty rate continues to rapidly decline from a high of 75,3% in 2016 to 72,8% in 2020.

FNB used to be one of the most loved banks in South Africa, however, over the past 5 years, it seems like they have been slipping significantly.

05. ABSA

ABSA used to be one of the more popular banks when I was young, however, it seems like they’re losing favor by the public.

  • The overall customer satisfaction rate of 78.6% is one of the lowest on this list.
  • Customer loyalty rate is low at around 70.4%,
  • Net promoter score is a low of 26.9%. This means customers are highly unlikely to recommend ABSA to people they know.

06. Standard Bank

At the bottom of the list, we have Standard Bank.

  • The overall customer satisfaction rate of 77.7% is the lowest on this list.
  • The customer loyalty rate is low at around 69.3%, which shows customers are less likely to stay with Standard Bank when compared to any other bank on this list.
  • Net promoter score is a low of 24.4%.


As an FNB customer, I honestly really enjoyed researching and writing this article. I was always under the impression that the bigger the bank, the better it is. But this research really opened my eyes to the better options out there which I will be exploring.

YOUR TURN: Do you know of any other better banks in South Africa that deserve to be on this list? Do you agree with the information I shared? Or do you think I missed a crucial piece of information? Let us know in the comments below so we can start learning from each other!

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