How much South Africa’s biggest banks make from client fees


Standard Bank collects the most revenue from client fees in a year, followed closely by Absa. Capitec Bank collects the least service fees.

Daily Investor looked at how much some of the country’s biggest banks – Standard Bank, Nedbank, Absa, FirstRand and Capitec – made from client fees over the past year.

South Africa’s biggest banks have various accounts available to customers, each with different monthly and other fees.

Monthly administration fees can range from high costs, like R525 per month for an FNB Private Wealth account, to low costs, like R7 for the Capitec Global One account, and no costs for a Nedbank MiGoals account.

MyBroadband recently analysed the fees charged by South Africa’s major traditional and digital banks.

The analysis found that all the banks offer entry-level, low-cost accounts for those who prefer a pay-as-you-transact model to products with larger monthly administration fees.

In particular, Absa, Capitec, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, TymeBank, and Bank Zero have bank accounts with monthly fees of less than R10.

On the other end of the scale, a BusinessTech analysis showed that expensive, high-level services are available from Discovery Bank, Investec, RMB, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and Absa.

Fee and commission breakdown

In its latest interim results, Standard Bank provided a breakdown of how the types of fees it charges clients contribute towards its total fees and commission revenue.

For Standard Bank, account transaction fees comprise the largest part of total revenue, followed closely by card fees.

Banking fee revenue comparison

The table below provides a comparison of the net fee and commission revenue South Africa’s top banks collected.

The fee revenue should not be confused with higher fees. A bank with more clients or a higher ratio of private banking clients will naturally generate more service revenue.

It should be noted that Capitec and FirstRand’s financial years run from 1 March to 28 February, while Standard Bank, Absa and Nedbank’s financial years run from 1 January to 31 December.

FirstRand’s service revenue includes FNB, RMB, WesBank, Aldermore, Motonovo, Ashburton Investments, DirectAxis, MotoVantage and FirstRand Corporate Centre.

BankNet fee and commission revenue in the last financial year Net fee and commission revenue in the six-month period ended 30 June 2023
Standard BankR32.62 billionR14.6 billion
AbsaR23.71 billionR12.5 billion
NedbankR18.96 billionR9.25 billion
CapitecR11.46 billionN/A
FirstRandR33.40 billionN/A