FNB is the oldest bank in South Africa, and can be traced back to the Eastern Province Bank formed in Grahamstown in 1838. Today, FNB trades as a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. When looking at FNB’s history, two things, in particular, stand out.
The first is a story of survival – different circumstances in South Africa have posed many great challenges in our history, all of which FNB has successfully met. This track record provides a strong foundation for our future challenges. The second is a story of people – our history has always been firmly influenced by the needs of the people we serve.
The Acacia tree in our brand logo is a suitable representation of our history. Our roots run deep in South Africa, and we have grown thanks to our commitment to serving the needs of our clients and communities.
A landmark development in FNB’s history took place in 1998 when the financial services interests of Rand Merchant Bank Holdings and Anglo American were merged to form FirstRand Limited. In the process, FNB was delisted from the JSE on 22 May 1998 to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of FirstRand, which was listed on the JSE on 25 May 1998. On 30 June 1999, the banking interests of FirstRand formally merged into a single entity to form FirstRand Bank. FNB, WesBank and RMB now trade as divisions of FirstRand Bank.
The FNB Archives Department was established in 1979 to carry out document research and make available to the public the important historical records accumulated by the bank.
The archives initially formed part of the FNB Museum. In May 1997, when the museum closed, it was decided to move the Archives to a new premise. The Archives cater for a wide variety of researchers from many fields of study, such as economic history, genealogy, economics, banking and management studies.
The bank’s historic records are open to bona fide researchers (restrictions do exist on certain material)