Monday, May 23, 2011

The main banks in Mauritius

This is a list of the main banks in Mauritius. There are currently more than a dozen banks in Mauritius such as:

  • The Mauritius Commercial Bank
  • The State Bank of Mauritius
  • Barclays Bank
  • HSBC
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bramer Banking Corporation
  • Bank One
  • Standard Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • AfrAsia Bank
  • Banque des Mascareignes


However, I will only blog about the main ones as there's not much to say about the rest. If you are looking for a more in-depth list of all the banks in Mauritius, you can find a great list on Wikipedia.

Mauritius Commercial Bank


The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is arguably the most popular bank in Mauritius. This does not however prevent it from having extremely poor customer service and from regularly wreaking havoc in customer accounts. Their new system, which apparently took no less than three years to complete, is riddled with problems.

Mauritius Commercial Bank logo

Website: The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd.

For a bank that supposedly makes tons of profits every year, they have a horrible website which uses frames and is downright ugly. Moreover, the Internet Banking section is unusable and often requires multiple logins if you wish to do various transactions online. Simply checking your account transactions requires four or five clicks, which is probably a record in usability history. The ironic thing is that this is a new website that was supposed to be "ground-breaking" and was part of a three-year development process. They apparently changed their whole system and gleefully screwed everybody when the new system was launched last year.

Internet Banking is thus absolutely necessary if you wish to keep track of whatever's going on in your account, as since the release of the new system, I have seen my credit card get wrongfully charged on various occasions. Taking all these into consideration, it's no wonder they are making so much money. I'm just praying this does not turn into another Skynet.

State Bank of Mauritius


The State Bank of Mauritius is the second most important bank in Mauritius. They are experts at advertising mind-shattering loan offers that are not so mind-shattering once you read the small print. They do however have a couple of interesting customer account offers, but I have learnt never to trust banks, especially the ones in Mauritius.

State Bank of Mauritius logo

Website: SBM Group

The State Bank of Mauritius website is less horrible than the Mauritius Commercial Bank one, but that's not saying much. The biggest issue with the SBM website is that its home page is a splash page that redirects to another page. Having never used its Internet Banking, I cannot personally comment on it. Opinions are welcome.

Bank One


Bank One is the Sean Combs of Mauritius banks - they specialize in changing names, except they do it for all the wrong reasons. They were originally known as the First City Bank before going through a major re-branding nobody actually gives a damn about. This bank prides itself in its objective to become a huge player of the banking sector in Mauritius, which is their way of saying they want to make the profits advertised by the Mauritius Commercial Bank (but then, who wouldn't?).

Bank One logo

Website: Bank One

Bank One surprisingly has a great website that is very intuitive and has a great design. It's too bad I don't really trust them when it comes to money. They do however seem to have the best options when it comes to foreign accounts.

Barclays Bank


Obviously, this is the Mauritius branch of Barclays. There's not much to say about them other than the fact that there was a lot of talk last year about them closing their African offices due to "not achieving projected targets".

Barclays Bank logo

Website: Barclays in Mauritius
Appararently, they do not offer any Internet Banking feature for regular account holders in Mauritius (their UK Internet Banking is however excellent). Their website is however great, but it's mainly a section of their main international website. They could use without centering the whole damn website though.

HSBC Mauritius


HSBC Mauritius is the Mauritius branch of the "world's local bank". I have used them abroad and never had any issue with them but cannot say if the same can be said for their Mauritius counterpart.

Mauritius bank HSBC logo

Website: HSBC Mauritius
They favor websites that are not centered, like so many other banks in Mauritius. However, the HSBC Mauritius bank does seem to be updated more often than the other banks' websites.

Bank of Baroda


The Bank of Baroda is the Mauritius branch of the famous Indian bank. They're fairly popular with some groups of the Mauritius population, but they are overall well behind the big ones such as MCB or even HSBC.

Bank of Baroda in Mauritius


Website: Bank of Baroda Mauritius

According to its footer, the Bank of Baroda Mauritius website was created in 2003, and it certainly looks like it was never redesigned. Looking at it now, I'd say it certainly needs to be redesigned. They even have a link in their right sidebar for users to download the Flash plugin. In a surprising twist, the Bank of Baroda Mauritius website is however still updated. Their latest news was posted on the 25th of April, but there are big lapses between their updates. I suppose that's better than nothing.