Africa is developing the skills, technology and legislation to leverage its vast potential, as well as handle domestic and macro-economic disruptions. The innovation that characterises Africa’s rise is echoed in the growth of its financial services industry – the continent’s transformation engine. Within this industry, Standard Bank stands as proxy for the innovation and energy that is driving Africa’s growth.
For these reasons, the spotlight was again focused on us at this year’s Banker Awards for Banking Excellence. In addition to winning Bank of the Year in six African countries, we were also awarded the most prestigious regional accolade, Bank of the Year - Africa for 2016.
So, what is the strategy that has made us the leading bank in the world’s second-fastest growing region? Essentially, we drive Africa’s growth according to various strategic pillars:
Our funding of Busamed’s - South Africa’s first black-owned private hospital group - debt-free acquisition of two of the country’s flagship private medical facilities demonstrates the possibilities of achieving inclusive growth on the continent.
Delivering the digital bank
Our SHYFT app allows foreign-currency trading on personal mobile devices, revolutionising how Africans trade with each other, import goods and interact globally.
To revitalise Ethiopia’s energy-distribution sector and sustain its high growth, we arranged contractor funding for the refurbishment and expansion of the country’s national electricity supplier, EEP.
Our digital innovations provide one of the most integrated digital banking platforms on earth. We offer: International Trade & Payment Systems (TAPS) to process international payments and trade transactions; eMarket Trader, a customisable online trading platform; Business Online (BOL), a corporate online banking system; Mobile Banking App; Kidz banking; and BankerChat on WeChat.
Social, economic, environmental contributions
In addition to various continent-wide development programmes, we support the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP). Together with the private sector and government, we aim to find a permanent solution to South Africa’s higher education crisis, while developing the skills relevant to Africa’s dynamic technology environments.
Many of the countries in which we won Best Banker awards experienced challenges in 2016. However, we were able to deliver – and even excel – through difficult cycles, attesting to the relevance of our strategy that places Africa’s growth at its heart.