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REVIEW SUMMARY

Standard Bank

Standard Bank Group has a legacy spanning more than 150 years.

It is a part of Africa’s largest banking group by assets, Standard Bank Group - a financial institution that offers banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, institutions and corporations in Africa and abroad.

Standard Bank has operations in Jersey, London, the Isle of Man and Mauritius that are dedicated to serving private and corporate clients directly and through an active intermediary network.

It offers banking, wealth management, trust and company administration, asset management and investment services.

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

Services offered by Standard Bank are primarily categorised as:

  • Personal;
  • Business; and
  • Wealth.

Standard Bank's international bank accounts aim to allow you to bank anywhere, at your convenience.

The main international account types offered by Standard Bank are:

 

1. Optimum bank account:

The optimum bank account allows you to make unlimited deposits and withdrawals when banking at home or abroad and gives you access to international savings accounts and foreign exchange. Internet and mobile banking for international payments, transfers and to manage your account, along with a visa debit card for easy payments and withdrawals worldwide also comes with it.

Minimum deposit required £5,000
Minimum account balance £5,000
Quarterly maintenance fee £60*
Supported currencies GBP, USD, EUR, AUD
Visa debit card annual fee £15/$25/€20/AU$25


*If minimum balance not maintained.

2. Platinum optimum bank account:

Standard Bank's platinum optimum bank account allows you to make unlimited deposits and withdrawals when banking at home or abroad and opens a door to an international lifestyle with a private banking visa debit card with no annual fee. Additionally, you get access to international savings accounts and foreign exchange, standing orders on all accounts and direct debits on sterling accounts, along with the same mobile and internet banking features offered in the optimum bank account.

Minimum deposit required £2,000
Minimum account balance £0
Quarterly maintenance fee £0
Supported currencies GBP, USD, EUR, AUD
Visa debit card withdrawal fees 1.75% (minimum £2/$3/€3/AU$3.50)


3. Seafarer bank account:

A Seafarer account is designed specifically for yacht crew who may need to bank in multiple currencies. This account offered by Standard Bank allows you to enjoy unlimited deposits and withdrawals to and from your account, free electronic payments, internet and mobile banking and an optional visa debit card for easy payments and withdrawals worldwide.

Minimum deposit required £2,500
Minimum account balance £2,500
Quarterly maintenance fee £60*
Supported currencies GBP, USD, EUR, AUD
Visa debit card annual fees £15/$25/€20/AU$25


*Unless minimum balance is maintained.

4. Call account:

Standard Bank's call account is a quick-access international deposit account available in 15 currencies. Ideal as a staging point while you weigh savings or investment options. It is essentially a non-interest-bearing offshore deposit account that provides instant access with unlimited deposits and withdrawals. This account provides mobile and internet banking but does not offer an overdraft facility.

Minimum deposit required £3,000
Minimum account balance £0
Quarterly maintenance fee £0
Supported currencies AUD, CAD, DKK, AED, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, NOK, SGD, ZAR, GBP, SEK, CHF, USD
Visa debit card annual fees £15/$25/€20/AU$25


You can learn more about each of these accounts in the factsheets and interest rates attached below.

Standard bank also offers borrowing services that allow you to use your existing deposits or investments as collateral to secure an international loan.

The types of personal loans offered by Standard Bank include:

1. Deposit-backed lending:

This is a secured personal loan that is flexible with a minimum of £25,000 loan amount and a loan term of 1 to 5 years. The arrangement fees is 0.5% of the loan amount (subject to a minimum of £1,000). GBP and USD are the currencies supported.

2. Cash-backed lending:

This is a special-purpose loan against international deposits in a call or instant access account. It's loan term, loan amount and fees is the same as the deposit-backend lending.

3. UK property lending:

This lending service from Standard Bank allows you to get your international real estate portfolio off the ground with a flexible, non-resident property loan. It has a minimum of £200,000 loan amount and a loan term of 3 to 5 years. The arrangement fees is 1% of the loan amount and GBP is the currency supported.

4. Portfolio bond lending:

This allows you to use the power of your capital invested with approved life companies to gear your portfolio for growth or release equity as an international loan. It has a minimum loan amount of £150,000, an unlimited loan term (reviewed annually). The arrangement fees is 1% of the loan amount (1.50% for cross currency facility). GBP and USD are the supported currencies.

Standard Bank also offers a few savings accounts and investment solutions that they claim helps you grow your money.

Here is the summary of the types of savings accounts offered by Standard Bank:

1. Offshore moneymarket call account:

This account by Standard Bank claims that it can build your savings with monthly interest payments while allowing you to gain immediate access to your money.

Minimum opening balance £25,000
Access to funds Unlimited
Interest 0.00% 
Supported currencies GBP, USD, EUR


2. Offshore reserve savings account:

Standard Bank offers this as an international savings account with higher interest rates and instant access to your money.

Minimum opening balance £3,000
Access to funds 4 (free) withdrawals per year
Interest 0.00% 
Supported currencies GBP, USD, EUR, ZAR


3. International saver account:

Allows you to earn interest rates on these international notice savings accounts with defined periods of either 36, 96, 196 or 396 days.

Minimum opening balance £10,000
Access to funds 36 to 396 days
Interest 0.50%
Supported currencies GBP, USD


4. Fixed term deposits:

This account type allows you to watch your money grow in this international savings account at a fixed rate, for a fixed period.

Minimum opening balance £10,000
Access to funds On maturity
Interest 0.25% (For <6 months: £25,000)
Supported currencies GBP, USD, AUD, ZAR


Standard Bank also has international investment solutions to offer.

They say that they follow an active investment philosophy with a strong strategic bias.

The investment solutions offered by Standard Bank include:

1. Structured products:

Standard Bank's structured products solution claims to offer you predictability and security that can enhance your financial plan. It includes products like:

  • ESG Deposit Issue 1 (5.5 years deposit term, medium risk level and is supported in USD) and
  • Quantum PLUS 27 (£10,000 minimum deposit, 6 years deposit term with a low to medium risk profile and supported in GBP,USD & AUD).

2.  Stockbroking services:

Standard Bank's investment solutions takes a more traditional approach to international share trading with their stockbroking services. They claim that under this, you can:

  • Deal directly with a broker, or via your wealth or relationship manager.
  • Trade execution services only, with no advisory permitted.
  • Get access to global markets and asset classes.
  • Get business hours-only access to trading services.
  • Custodial services in a highly regulated jurisdiction.
  • Access to an online portal to review your portfolio.

We would recommend reading the expert verdict section of this review before making a decision.


 

The Pros

> Easy to open
> 24-hour banking
> Good for smaller clients

The Cons

> Standard Interest rates on bank accounts
> International saver accounts are not available to new or existing Channel Island and Isle of Man residents.
Am I eligible for Standard Bank's optimum bank account?

You will be eligible if:

  • You are 18 years or older
  • Make the minimum opening deposit
  • Show proof of address and identity (certified or original copies)
What are the features of Standard Bank's platinum optimum bank account?

Standard Bank's platinum optimum bank account features include:

  • An international bank account available in GBP, USD, EUR and AUD
  • Unlimited deposits and withdrawals when banking at home or abroad
  • A Private Banking Visa debit card with no annual fee
  • Access to international savings accounts and foreign exchange
  • Standing Orders on all accounts and and Direct Debits on sterling accounts
  • Internet banking to make international payments and transfers and manage your account
  • Mobile banking to manage, view activity and link and transfer funds between your accounts
How do I avail the Seafarer bank account?

You need to:

  • Complete and submit the online application form
  • You will also need to provide:
  • Signed T&Cs
  • A certified copy of your passport
  • An original Captain’s letter
  • A certified copy of your employment contract
What are the types of investment funds offered by Standard Bank?

Standard Bank offers two main types of investment funds:

  1. Global equity fund and
  2. Global balanced fund

You can learn more about them on Standard Bank's website.

What do I get with Standard Bank's discretionary portfolio service?

The discretionary portfolio service offerings, as stated by them, are as follows:

  • Available in GBP, USD and EUR
  • Minimum Investment £ 250 000, US$ 400 000, € 400,000
  • Six risk-weighted portfolio strategies
  • Equity, fixed income, alternative and cash assets
  • Dedicated Portfolio Manager
  • Regular consolidated portfolio valuations
  • Web-based portal, providing 24/7 viewing access 
  • Monthly portfolio strategy updates
  • Quarterly Investment Review and Outlook
  • Global Custody facilities
  • Investment holding statements
  • Consolidated tax vouchers
  • Capital and income segregation
What are the features of Standard Bank's offshore moneymarket call account?

The features, as stated by Standard Bank, are as follows:

  • Available in GBP, USD, or EUR
  • Tiered interest rates on qualifying balances
  • Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly
  • Unlimited deposits and withdrawals
  • Standing Orders in all supported currencies* and Direct Debits on sterling accounts
  • Internet banking to make international payments and transfers and manage your account
  • Mobile banking to manage, view activity and link and transfer funds between your accounts
  • No overdraft facility
  • Bank statements are issued quarterly
What are the benefits of Standard Bank's call account?

The benefits of Standard Bank's call account, includes:

  1. Wide selection:
    They claim that you can experience international banking at its best with 15 different currencies to choose from.
  2. Nimble:
    Use your Call account as a springboard to save or make international investments.
  3. Low barriers:
    Simplicity as the key to managing money you have deposited in an overseas bank account.
  4. Digital access:
    Manage your international accounts easily and securely using the mobile app or online banking services provided by Standard Bank.
What can I do with Standard Bank's internet banking services?

You can:

  • Activate Visa debit card and retrieve your pin
  • Open an additional account
  • Close a nil balance account
  • Order a statement, reference or certificate of interest
  • Make a change of address
  • Change contact details
  • Make an internal transfer between your own accounts
  • Order a Visa debit card
  • Order a security token
  • Change telephone security questions
  • Set up a Fixed Term Deposit
  • Provide maturity instructions
  • Set up, cancel or amend a standing order
  • Give notice on an account
Would I need to pay for anything more with internet banking?

Standard Bank's internet banking has:

  • No sign-up fee
  • No monthly subscription fees
  • Certain transactions however, may incur a fee

Happy with my account

I've got a fairly flexible banking solution from Standard Bank.

I'm happy with the options I've got if I want to save or borrow as well.

Expert assessment of Standard Bank

We think Standard Bank is a sound choice of bank account for retail (under £50,000) and emerging affluent clients (under £100,000).

It has decent IT infrastructure and caters for some interesting niche markets.

There are, however, better ways to invest your money than via a bank - international or otherwise!

If you have, or are on your way to achieving £250,000 of investable assets, we recommend contacting us for a Second Opinion.

There are likely to be cheaper options available with more transparent fee structures.

Standard Bank - International Personal Banking Variable Interest Rates

Standard Bank - International Personal Banking Fixed Term Deposits Interest Rates

Standard Bank - Optimum Bank Account Factsheet

Standard Bank - Charges for Banking Services

Standard Bank - International Personal Banking Bank Accounts Terms and Conditions

Standard Bank - Platinum Optimum Bank Account Factsheet

Standard Bank - Seafarer Bank Account Factsheet

Standard Bank - Call Account Factsheet

Standard Bank - Offshore Moneymarket Call Account Factsheet

Standard Bank - Offshore Reserve Account Factsheet

Standard Bank - International Saver Accounts Factsheet

Standard Bank - Fixed Term Deposit Factsheet

Standard Bank - ESG Deposit Issue 1 Brochure

Standard Bank - Quantum PLUS 27 Brochure

Standard Bank - Discretionary Portfolio Service Brochure

Standard Bank - Discretionary Portfolio Management Fee

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