Yes. Although it’s based out of South Africa and a vast majority of its customers are South African, FNB has operations in neighbouring Botswana and Namibia, making it an international bank, strictly speaking.
FNB Corporation is the holding company of American financial institution, First National Bank. The Pennsylvanian banking group was first founded in 1864, now with reported total assets of more than $38billion (as of April 2021). In this review we will be assessing the cross-border capabilities of this regional bank, as we decide whether this is a viable global money transfer service provider for our customers.
About First National Bank
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, First National Bank (FNB) serves metropolitan areas across 7 states in the United States, but does not operate outside of this domestic market. Catering to both Personal and Business financial requirements, FNB is a traditional brick and mortar bank that assists with checking and savings, loans and mortgages, insurance, investing, wealth and treasury management: it does not specialise in international money transfers. With this in mind, we will proceed to evaluate the cross-border services that are available through this regional bank.
First National Bank Exchange Rates and Fees
In the interest of providing a full service, many banks offer international transfer services to their customers, which is appealing to account holders who are prioritising convenience over cost. It is important, however, to consider the rate of exchange and transfer fees employed by a bank, in order to get an overall understanding what you are paying for the money transfer services.
According to the Payment Services page of the FNB website, Business customers benefit from bank-to-bank wire transfers between domestic and international accounts. However, there is next to no information online about the exchange rate that is applied to these foreign currency transfers.
Our research shows banks apply a foreign exchange spread of up to 4 – 6% to most overseas transfers, so customers using FNB for international wire transfers should expect a similar mark-up.
As with their exchange rates, FNB does not provide an outline of the fee structure that is applied to international wire transfers, making it impossible for customers to know how expensive cross-border transfer fees will be.
How Do First National Bank Transfer Fees Compare to Using a Money Transfer Provider?
Due to the limited information available, we cannot make this comparison. Customers banking with FNB should contact the bank directly for a quote, comparing it to the available options on offer through more transparent and convenient transfer providers such as Wise, OFX and PaySend. In most cases, leading money transfer companies are able to beat bank costs by offering more competitive rates, lower-fees and transparent payment terms.
How to Open an Account and Transfer Money With First National Bank
In this section we will outline how to apply online for a First National Bank and how to use this account to move money overseas.
Opening an Account
Customers interested in applying for a FNB Personal checking account can browse the product list select the “Compare” tab to weigh up available options. Once you have chosen a checking account that suits your needs, select the product, tap “Add to Cart” and complete the on-screen instructions.
The same process applies to customers looking to open a Business bank account.
Select the “Wire Transfer” option from the “Payment Services” of the FNB website, tap “Add to Cart” and complete the on-screen instructions: available to Business customers only.
What Customer Support Options Are Available?
Customers can receive support via the following channels:
- Schedule an appointment at one of FNB’s 340 locations: find your nearest branch
- Call the bank for assistance: helplines open Monday to Friday 8 am to 9 pm, and Saturday to Sunday 8 am to 5 pm
- Send an email to the FNB customer service account