FirstRand Bank South Africa
FirstRand Limited, also referred to as FirstRand Group is the holding company of FirstRand Bank, and is a financial services provider in South Africa. It is one of the financial services providers licensed by the Reserve Bank of South Africa, the national banking regulator.
The FirstRand group’s history traces back to the 1970s as an investment bank. The group as currently was established on April 1, 1998, through a merger of the financial services interests of Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Limited (now Anglo American plc) and RMB Holdings (RMBH) in order to achieve the objective of a unified financial services grouping.
These financial services interests were First National Bank Holdings, Momentum Life Assurers Limited (“Momentum” now part of MMI Holdings) and the Southern Life Association Limited (“Southern Life”) all of which were listed on the JSE. FNB and Southern Life were delisted from the JSE and constituted as wholly owned subsidiaries of Momentum which was the vehicle to affect the merger. Momentum changed its name to FirstRand Limited and was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on May 25, 1998 with Anglo American and RMB Holdings holding 20.43% and 25.03% of the authorized capital of FirstRand respectively. Anglo American has since shed its entire shareholding.
Post merger events saw the merging of Rand Merchant Bank and FNB to form FirstRand Bank Limited, with the two units remaining to trade as divisions of FirstRand Bank Limited and the transfer of Momentum’s insurance business to that of into Southern Life to form FirstRand Insurance Limited.
FirstRand is listed as a “locally controlled bank” by the South African Reserve Bank, the national banking regulator. The group has subsidiaries in South Africa and in the countries of Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria and the UK.
In November 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued the first merchant banking licences in mer local firm.