The settlement of the first banking establishment in Angola goes back to 1865, and began to operate in August of the same year. It was a branch of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (National Overseas Bank), authorized to be settled in Luanda, and the notes issued by this Bank constituted the national currency. The foundations were laid for the beginning of the banking activity in Angola.

However, the course of this process has been troubled. The lack of control over the issuance of money, led to an unsustainable financial situation in the colony, and to overcome this situation, the colonial authorities created a currency board that initiated a process of monetary reform, whose first action was the creation of an independent issuing Bank, "the Bank of Angola".

The delegation of the then Bank of Angola began to operate, in fact, in Angola, in an attempt to perpetuate the colonial presence in the national territory. However, our Bank has not always worked in this term. On 14 of August of 1926, when the Bank of Angola was created, with its headquarters in Lisbon to "avoid local influences and to be more direct on the supervision of the Minister of the Colonies".

Until 1957, the Bank of Angola detained the exclusive banking trade in Angola, at which time the Commercial Bank of Angola, which was strictly Angolan law, appeared on the market.

Subsequently, the Bank of Angola, which in addition to having the exclusive right to issue banknotes, was still engaged in banking business, started to rely on the “competition from five other  commercial banks” (Commercial Bank of Angola, the Bank of Commercial and Industrial Credit, the Totta Standard Bank of Angola, the Pinto & Sotto Mayor Bank and the Inter Unido Bank) as well as four credit institutions (Angolan Credit Institute, the National Development Bank, the Agro-Livestock Credit Fund and the Montepio of Angola).

Half a century after its creation, there was a massive leakage of bank managers, associated with capital flight with the risk of the immediate reduction of the liquidity of the system. It was during this period that an action was taken to prevent the collapse of the entire monetary and financial system, on 14 of August of 1975, and became known as the "Taking of the Banking."

A group of banking technicians was appointed with the mission of implementing a plan established by the Ministry of Planning and Finance, which consisted in the physical occupation of Commercial Bank facilities in Luanda and the dismissal of their existing corporate bodies.

The exhaustive work carried out by this group of workers is a milestone historically determinant of the Banking in Angola, and was proclaimed on the 14 of August of 1983 as the "Day of the banking worker".

As a result, in the framework of the political and economic changes that were taking place and in view of the importance of the country's monetary and financial system, the Government confiscated the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Angola and created the National Bank of Angola, with functions of Central Bank, Issuing Bank, Treasury, and Commercial Banking. Parallel to the Law No. 70/76, it confiscated the Commercial Bank of Angola and created the Popular Bank of Angola acting mainly as a bank for raising individual savings.

One year after the independence of Angola, and through the Law No. 69/76 published in the Official Gazette No. 266 – 1st  Series of 10 of November of 1976, the National Bank of Angola was created and its Organic Law was approved.

However, the BNA as a public finance and credit company, was subordinate to the Ministry of Finance. Since 1978 and through the Law No. 4/78 of 25 of February, banking activity was exclusively conducted by the State Banks, and private commercial banks were formally closed, which facilitated the extension of the branch network of the BNA throughout the national territory.

The insurance activity was carried out by a single state-owned company, Nacional Insurance Company of Angola (ENSA), which was also established in 1978. In 1981 all private insurance companies were liquidated and their assets and liabilities were transferred to ENSA.

In 1987, the Government formulated a set of institutional reforms aiming the transition to a market economy. Among the reforms undertaken, the reform of the financial sector was prioritized, given its importance in the mobilization of savings, in the distribution of resources and in macroeconomic stabilization.

Based on the Financial Institutions Law, in 1991 the implementation of a two-tier banking system began, the National Bank of Angola began to perform the function of Central Bank, granted as the monetary authority, agent of the exchange authority and separated from the Commercial functions. The National Bank of Angola ceased to open deposit accounts in both local currency and foreign currency and started to implement a program to stop commercial activities in Luanda. Was also introduced the first monetary policy instruments, namely mandatory reserves and increased interest rates.

The national banking system was then composed, in addition to the BNA, by two Angolan commercial banks constituted in the form of public-stock corporations – the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB; ex BPA) e o Bank of Commerce and Industry (BCI), Credit Agro-Livestock and Fisheries (CALF), an institution with the objective of supporting the expansion of the productive capacity of the agricultural and fishing sectors, thereby, increasing the supply of essential products, whose network was substantially expanded in 1996 with the transfer by the BNA of its extensive commercial network for that institution.

Subsequently, branches of foreign banks were established, namely the Totta and Açores Bank (TAB), Bank of Foreign Development (BFD) and the Portuguese Atlantic Bank (PAB).

In the context of the restructuring of the banking system, the approval in July 1997, by the National Assembly of the new Organic Law of the National Bank of Angola, Law No. 6/97 of 11 July, and Law No. 5/97 of 11 Of July, allowed some legal embarrassments to be overcome, with the BNA being the Central Bank, which had major responsibility and autonomy to conduct and enforce the country's monetary and exchange policy.

In 1999, the Agro-Livestock and Fisheries (ALF) was dissolved and liquidated, and in May of the same year, the BNA implemented a set of measures aimed at stabilizing the money and exchange market and increasing the competitiveness among the banks.

At present, and according to the regulations in force, the national banking system consists of several banking institutions with national and foreign capital, namely Portuguese capital, which have been constituted in Angolan banks.

According to its organizational structure, the National Bank of Angola has as its governing bodies, the Board of Directors, the Audit Board and the Advisory Board, and the Bank is structured in Directorates.

With 1845 active workers, the National Bank of Angola has its headquarters in the 4 of February Avenue in the Marginal of Luanda and is represented in the Provinces of Benguela, Cabinda and Huila.

In addition to ensuring the preservation of the value of the national currency, the BNA is essentially responsible for: acting as sole banker of the State, advising the State on monetary, financial and exchange matters, collaborating in the definition and execution of exchange policy, as well as the respective market, manage the external resources of the country or those affected, act as an intermediary in the international monetary relations of the State, ensure the stability of the national financial system, thereby ensuring the role of financier of last recourse.