The Standard Bank of British South Africa Ltd. was a British overseas bank, formed in London in 1862 by a group of South African businessmen.
The Bank started operations in 1863 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It was prominent in financing and development of the diamond fields of Kimberley in 1867.
The word British was dropped from the title in 1883.
When gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand, the bank expanded northwards and on 11th October 1886 the bank started doing business in a tent at Ferreira’s Camp, thus becoming the first bank to open a branch on the Witwatersrand gold fields.
For the next fifty years Standard Bank of South Africa opened offices across Africa although some of them were unsustainable and subsequently had to be closed. By the mid-1960s the bank had around 600 branches in Africa.
In 1962 the bank was renamed Standard Bank Limited. In 1965 it merged with the Bank of West Africa, expanding its operations into Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In 1969 a further merger took place, with Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China, and the combined bank became known as Standard Chartered Bank.
Today, Standard Chartered Bank operates a network of over 1,700 branches across 70 countries and employs around 87,000 people.