Standard Bank strives to be more than just a bank; through community upliftment projects, financing infrastructure development and notable investment in education, we continue to move South Africa forward while helping individuals reach their Next.
A case in point is the recent involvement in the refurbishing of Limpopo’s Nku Primary School, a project undertaken by the Standard Bank Entrepreneurial Development team.
According to Mr Chisulu, Nku Primary School Principal ,the school located in the Mmaletswai Village, struggled with overcrowding , poor sanitation and a decaying building structure.
Mfanufikile Motha, Head of Entrepreneurial Development at Standard Bank, says the ED team is currently focusing on a number of impact projects that will take the nation to its Next through job creation, positive social impact and value-chain integration in terms of black business.
“One of the projects identified is the revamp of schools throughout South Africa, because the team – like the greater group – acknowledges that education plays a vital role in the growth of our country, as well as in Africa as a whole,” he says.
In late March this year, the school underwent a dramatic overhaul at an estimated cost of R2.8 million: existing classrooms were refurbished through plastering, painting and ceiling installation; a kitchen was built; and the roof was checked for leaks. Keeping true to our philosophy of sustainable progress for all, the team hired a black-owned business development support company to oversee the construction and, where possible, used local suppliers for materials.
“There can be no progress without education,” says Mr Motha. “The physical environment of school buildings and school grounds is a key factor in the overall health and safety of staff, visitors and learners, and their ability to learn effectively.”
The construction was completed by 9 April, the day before the children returned to school from their holidays.
Standard Online Share Trading is getting a facelift! We’ve recently launched the 1st version of our new site, BETA Release 1.0, and we’d like to invite our community to tell us how we can make this new experience ßeta.
We are looking for 100 users who are keen to test drive OST BETA and give us their feedback on the existing features and any other suggestions.
If you’d like to be a part of this, please send an email to [email protected], with subject line is “OST BETA ACCESS” and your OST Login Name. Please DO NOT include your password in the email.
Once we’ve received your request, we will grant you access and you will receive an email with instructions on how to access OST BETA.
BETA 1.0 release includes the following features:
If you have any queries, feel free to respond to this post or send us an email to the [email protected] mailbox.
Please note that trades or other activities carried out on BETA 1.0 will affect your live account.
For frequent viewers of Your Next Million, our weekly game show, the name TREE should ring a few bells. Going back two months, Training and Resources in Early Education was chosen as the first non-government organisation to receive the R50 000 NGO cheque from Standard Bank, helping further their ambition to create a better, stronger South Africa.
Based in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, TREE’s vision is to ensure young children develop to their full potential. To achieve this, the non-profit promotes and drives childhood development and care for children up to age four, and quality education and training programmes aimed at those responsible for their care (among many other important complementary actions).
When we first contacted the NGO after its initial win, its then Director, Bertha Magoge, explained that TREE gives young children a fair chance to, first, do well in school and, second, do well in life, ultimately contributing to a lively and prosperous economy. “Extremely elated”, Bertha shared how the Your Next Million prize will help TREE achieve its NEXT of offering more children better early childhood development (ECD) programmes: the cash injection will be used to create an ECD “centre of excellence” of one of the non-profit’s existing centres. Acting as a training ground for ECD practitioners and programme co-ordinators, it will be the “pinnacle example” of how children should receive cognitive and physical stimulation to ready them for pre- and primary school.
With their second Standard Bank donation, TREE is set to continue on the road to this NEXT. According to Teressa Ngobese, Acting Director, establishing centres of excellence ensures young children are in a safe, caring environment that is conducive to their growth and development.
“TREE will use this funding to continue our work in rural and undeserved communities with a mission to ensure that every child develops to their full potential in line with their rights and needs,” she says. “The cheque will go a long way in securing their NEXT; creating a foundation for their future!“We are grateful to be selected as one of the benefiting charities by Standard Bank. Many civil-society organisations across the country are engaged in activities that support development, and to be backed by a well-known financial institution really encourages our efforts. Your generosity, backed by your values, brand and ethos, is elevating deprived communities. Phambili, Standard Bank!”
Whenever we see market darlings fall on the JSE, the number one question I get is: “should we buy it now?”
Of course, buy low, sell high wisdom tells us that the best time to buy a share is when the price is low. That way, you’ll make a killing the moment it rebounds.
But what if it doesn’t rebound? For me, investing is not a gambling game. Neither is trading. And so, if you don’t have a particular indication for ‘buy’ apart from simply “but it’s falling” then you’re just gambling and not making an informed decision.
I have a checklist of questions one should consider before buying a share that’s falling at an alarming speed.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are factors to consider before jumping into a stock whose share price has fallen. Don’t jump into a share because ‘everyone is doing it’. Gather enough information on what exactly has gone wrong and how it can be fixed, if at all. At the very least you’ll know that you’re making an informed decision.
I know losing out on the rise of what people consider a great stock is difficult to digest. When presented with an opportunity to finally buy it at a very low price – we shouldn’t charge in blindly. If the share recovers, you’ll have time to get it.
New to the world of investing? Follow our series on Financial Markets:
The saying goes in invesing "never catch falling knives"
Another possible thought re decision making - for what its worth. Share falls. no news around this - but there is an ongoing isue or a "problem that won't go away" - ask:1. Why is there no solution?
2. And if there is none stay away.
We know you don’t have time in your packed schedule to stand in queues or click through endless websites to deal with your banking needs. Luckily, technology has given us the power to make our lives easier – this brings us to the launch of our improved Digital Banking Website.
“Our vision at Standard Bank is to deliver what matters to our customers. Through customer engagements, we’ve learned that this is the ability to do banking at the time and place of their choosing,” says Theo Skosana, Executive Head of CET and Digital Banking. “This can only be delivered through a world-class digital experience, and to create that, we needed to enable all of our sales, services and transactions online.” If you visit the website now, you’ll see the first phase of our journey towards customer-focused convenience: The new website is easy to navigate since all the information you need is in one place according to logical groupings, plain language is used throughout, and the number of pages has been reduced from 1 600 to just over 350.
Some important changes:
• You’ll need Internet Explorer (IE11) or Google Chrome to use the site.
• Internet Banking log in option: we’ve moved the button to the top right-hand corner and renamed it “Sign into your accounts”
• UCount Rewards option: the button’s moved to the top section, and we’ve renamed it “Rewards”, but you’ll still land on our UCount page.
• Forex Exchange option: you’ll find this option under the “Our Products & Services” tab.
Going forward, more and more features and functions can be added to keep up with your changing needs. Now that it’s live, more tests will be done to make sure you can continue to enjoy online banking at its best. Remember, because the path to get to our new website has changed, you won’t be able to access it through your saved bookmarks, so type in www.standardbank.co.za
For 36 years, the READ Educational Trust has specialised in educator development with a strong focus on literacy, language and communication. It’s their belief that such ECD (early childhood development) interventions are the keys to individual and nationwide prosperity. For this reason, this trust was chosen as Your Next Million’s latest NGO winner, receiving a cheque of R50 000.
“A cheque of such a substantial amount is a wonderful blessing,” says Lizelle Langford, PR and Fundraising Manager for the NPO. “This means more books for the children, more support for the teachers and also being able to address those needs we never have enough funding for.”
READ’s mission is to help people throughout southern Africa become “independent life-long learners” through the development of their reading, writing and communication skills. This aligns strongly with our purpose of driving progress on the continent; READ is showing individuals and communities the way to their NEXT through their activities: according to Dzingai Mutumbuka, Chairman of the Association for Education in Africa, low levels of literacy can impede the economic development of a country, especially in this rapidly changing, technology-driven world. He’s said that education and literacy offer an escape from poverty by directly contributing to growth, and increasing equity and social justice. In turn, this leads to stability, which improves a country’s investment climate.
Undoubtedly, the READ Educational Trust can be regarded as a champion of economic development. Not only does the NGO train teachers in ECD and support children in its associated schools throughout South Africa, it also delivers life-skills training to young people about to enter the workforce, and presentation, communication and conflict-resolution skills to those already on the career path.
Lizette says READ’s game-show winnings will be mostly put to use at Louw Wepener Primary School in the Free State, one of a cluster of schools that the non-profit works with.
“Here, most learners speak Sotho as a home language, but have limited access to books in that language. In grade 4, they’ll change to English, which takes a tremendous effort from them, their teachers and requires external support. Without enough material to encourage vocabulary development in a first and second language, and spark an interest in reading, it’s almost impossible to achieve success.” Lizette shares that the donation from Your Next Million will contribute to giving Louw Wepener Primary School’s children English and home-language books in a variety of genres, which they can read for enjoyment or reference.
“Thank you for caring about our children and the challenges they face to become literate, Standard Bank. Only with the support from donors with a conscience will we be able to make a difference in their lives.”
I write a column for a certain publication and have come across many people drowning in debt who want a quick solution to getting out of debt. The truth, as I always share, is that there's not quick-fix to handling an enormous amount of debt.
One of the very interesting and recurring queries that I've come across often go something like this:
"My name is [Person’s name] and I am in quite a lot of debt. I was thinking of getting a loan from the bank and using it to trade so I can make money and work on paying off my debt. Where can I learn how to trade quickly?”
“I came across a trading site that offered me 50% returns. They have a 30-hour course that costs R20,000. I’m thinking about getting a loan from the bank, buying the course and learning how to trade. I’ll use the rest of the funds as capital for. If I can do that, I know I’ll make that money back and pay off my debt.”
When I got my first message along these lines, I gasped in wide-eyed shock.
But over the years these just keep coming. As fly-by-night Instagram traders gain (undeserved) fame, and Bitcoin traders promise overnight riches, these kinds of requests become more frequent.
But for anyone who's seriously considering trading, be aware:
Of course, always keep in mind that “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. This list is by no means exhaustive and you should always do due diligence on a trading site before you commit your capital. Find out what users have to say about the platform: how long has the site been up and what are people’s experiences with it. A lack of information should be a red flag. Don’t just rely on testimonials from site users. You can’t verify whether those are real or not.
Be careful when searching through sites like Twitter. It’s easy to stumble across bots – fake accounts that are created to push particular content. Look out for the same tweets coming from different accounts.
More importantly, if you’re in deep financial distress, it’s better to think about calling up your creditors and negotiating your repayments so you’re not overwhelmed by your financial obligations.
If you want to be a successful trader, seasoned, and honest, traders will tell you that it takes a lot of learning, self-education, losses and dedication. It’s not a walk in the park.
Use the resources at your disposal – you can see what we have on the community blog, learn or talk section, where youc an also interact with other traders. You can also visit sites such as JustOneLap.com or Investopedia, which have great educational resources that are invaluable in your journey as a beginner trader or investor. If you want to learn a bit more about financial markets, you can check out our podcast series of Financial Markets for Beginners.
(For anyone who'd like to add to why trading your way out of debt is a bad idea, please share in the comments section below.)
Head of Group Policy and Sustainability in Group Risk, Wendy Dobson joined Standard Bank in 2009 after serving in executive roles at both the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Labour Council. With three Wits qualifications (including a Master of Arts in Applied Ethics), no one could be better equipped to steer Standard Bank’s purpose – driving Africa’s growth – through sustainability.
Essentially, Standard Bank is a business that provides financial products and services throughout its operations in Africa. However, Wendy explains how we are also more than that. “Africa is our home, and we need to figure out what kind of home we want to live in.” To do this, we must determine the needs of our fellow Africans, because “it’s in the intersection of these where we want to drive our impact.”
The impact Standard Bank aspires to make is SEE; social, economic and environmental. These will be achieved through multiple avenues, such as:
Standard Bank is committed to minimising our direct carbon footprint by adopting green building principles. Our 1 Simmonds Street office is certified as net carbon zero, while 3 Simmonds achieved five stars from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). Powered by a 1MW tri-generation plant and with solar-powered chargers for electric cars, our Rosebank offices won several awards for energy efficiency.
In 2016, some agric clients were at risk of defaulting on their loans. Together, these farmers were custodians of 50 000ha of productive land; if their businesses failed, 5 000 people would be out of work and over R180 million in revenue would be lost. To prevent this, we restructured their loans over the short to medium term, keeping employees in their jobs and retaining our clients.
Launched in mid-2017, Feenix is a Standard Bank-sponsored crowdfunding platform that helps South African tertiary students raise money towards their education. In less than a year in operation, Feenix raised over R2 million and 33 students were fully funded in their studies.
We’re actively involved in a number of forums on environmental issues. For instance, Standard Bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), an international body that brings together financial institution representatives on environmental management issues. We are also a signatory to the Equator Principles, a risk-management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance.
Standard Bank’s vision is to be the leading financial services organisation in, for and across Africa. Though this seems to be a purely corporate goal, it can’t be achieved without effective sustainability policies: “In the long run, a business’s success depends on its ability to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of the society in which it operates through its business activities,” explains Wendy. “We are on a journey to be more than just a bank, we want to be a catalyst for change, putting sustainability at the heart of our business.”
You’ve done the research, spoken to your broker, and finally bought the best insurance cover that you can afford for your car and home. Insurance cover, like most contracts, has certain requirements that need to be upheld for it to stay valid. Not holding up your side of the deal could see your claim being rejected.
The Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance has compiled a list of reasons why insurance claims are rejected, here are the Top 9:
1. Having an unlicensed driver.
It’s illegal for someone without a valid driver’s license to be behind the wheel. Make sure that the person driving your car has a valid driver’s license. If they only have a learner’s license, they must be accompanied by a licensed driver.
2. The driver may not be the regular driver.
Some insurance policies require that the regular driver be specified. If someone else is going to be driving your car and your policy requires that the person is specified, make sure that they are. Adding additional specified drivers to your policy may affect your premium.
3. Driving an unroadworthy vehicle.
It is important to ensure that your car is roadworthy, as driving an unroadworthy car could be seen as reckless by your insurer and a reason for them to reject your claim.
4. Driving under the influence.
In South Africa, the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000ml or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml (as at the time published). This means that just two beers could put you over the legal limit. A claim under these conditions will not only be rejected, but you could cause an accident, face a fine, or jail time if you are caught. It’s better to plan ahead if you are going out, i.e. by using a ride hailing service or having a designated driver.
5. Satellite tracker and telematics data.
Some insurers may require you to fit a tracking or telematics device so they can track your car in the event of theft. If this was not done and your car is stolen, your claim will be rejected. These devices not only track the location of your car but they can record your driving habits. If you’re driving recklessly and cause and accident, your claim will also be rejected.
6. Insufficient cover.
Some insurance policies only cover you under certain circumstances so it’s important that you find out what your policy covers. If you are an existing Standard Bank Insurance Limited customer and need to see what you are insured for click here and login. If you would like to find out more about the great insurance products Standard Bank offers click here.
7. Servicing your car regularly.
Regular servicing helps keep your car running smoothly. Skipping services won’t just void the manufacturer’s warranty but can also result in serious mechanical issues, like causing your engine to seize. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the care of your car to avoid a rejected claim in the future.
8. Inspection not carried out.
Typically, an insurer would require that your car get inspected as early as possible after your policy starts. This to ensure that the insured asset exists and that it is in the specified condition. Failing to do this in the required window period could result in a future claim being rejected.
9. Using your car for business.
If you use your car for business purposes, you need to disclose this information to your insurer.
If you are an existing Standard Insurance Limited customer and need to see what you are insured for click here and login.
If you would like to find out more about the great insurance products Standard Bank offers click here.