This paper investigates the performance of South Africa’s commercial banking sector for the period 2005- 2009. Financial ratios are employed to measure the profitability, liquidity and credit quality performance of five large South African based commercial banks. The study found that overall bank performance increased considerably in the first two years of the analysis. A significant change in trend is noticed at the onset of the global financial crisis in 2007, reaching its peak during 2008-2009. This resulted in falling profitability, low liquidity and deteriorating credit quality in the South African Banking sector.