Standard Bank Private Banking bliss

While First National Bank might be really innovative when it comes to banking, I honestly get annoyed with the frequent radio ads making FNB sound like a magical experience. Having consulted for both FNB and SBSA I can honestly say, that FNB’s banking platform is archaic and internal politics (especially when it came to branch banking) caused so much frustration and friction it was always beyond a small miracle, that the bank managed to actually release new software into their branch network.

I have always felt comfortable banking with SBSA and enjoyed for years to be a Prestige banking client. As with most “exclusive” offerings, Prestige banking has become too much of a mainstream product and prestige bankers could not any longer afford that personal relationship with their clients.

For some time I wanted to switch to SBSA’s Private Banking offering and eventually took this step a few weeks back.

Standard Bank Private Banking

The personal attention from the private banker instilled renewed trust in the banking industry (at least when it comes to SBSA and not necessarily their competition). Existing accounts and credit cards were migrated within hours and new credit-, ATM- and garage-cards where personally delivered.

No laborious tasks of filling out forms or having to visit a branch. Changing ATM- and credit-card PINs was possible through both telephone banking as well as through SBSA’s AutoPlus machines.

The monthly charges of R285 for Private Banking are slightly higher than the R205 for Prestige Banking and include annual card-fees and a number of free transactions. The Private Banking service can not really be compared with many of the low-cost banking services, especially when one considers having direct access to two dedicated private bankers at any time in addition to many value added services.

While the likes of FNB advertise many services for free as well as introduce innovative new features, it still comes down to receiving that personal attention when it comes to financial wealth management – not all banking should be about just credits and debits and saving a few Rands in accounting fees.

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  • Leo

    Thanks! Apart from paying R285 per month, are there special qualifying criteria before you can join this slightly more inner circle?

  • Leah

    As a young proffessional, I’ve been with prestige banking for just over a year now and have had nothing to complain about, have had exceptional service through my banker. I now have been invited to join SBSA private banking but feel as though this is a bit too much “effort” since I am so comfortable with my current banker. Due to the fact that I graduated less than 3 years ago and am under the age of 35 I’ve been offered the following:

    Pricing – R125 per month
    Unlimitd electronic transactions
    Unlimited cellphone topups
    8 autobank cash withdrawals at SBSA atms
    2 autobank cash deposits at SBSA atms
    2 bank issued and 2 deposited cheques
    Free stop peyments, lost card protection fraud prevention etc
    Free internet and cellphon banking
    Free sms notifications
    Free annual platinum Mastercard Credit card
    Free annual Platinum cheque card
    Free annual diners club charge card fee
    2 send money transactions.

    Is it really worth changing to Private banking? I thought the invitation to join was kind of “weird” since I assumed my prestige banker would offer me the best and inform me if I was not on th best account…my prestige banker is also completely unaware that I’ve been approached by private banking to “upgrade” my account.

    • I would suggest joining it. The only time you truly start appreciating Private Banking is when you urgently require something and in those instances you will find that Prestige Banking has become too mainstream you will not get superior service (I think that Prestige Banking worked well 4-5 years ago, and Private Banking is “the new” Prestige Banking).

      If you travel a lot or have specific issues, you direct those to your Private Banking (regardless if it is during or after office hours or on weekends) and can be assured that those issues will be addressed without you having to constantly follow up.