Your Gold card might look like everyone else’s, but in reality it’s as unique as you are. It’s your personal enabler. It’s an extension of your one-of-a-kind lifestyle, attitude and perspective on the world.
We wanted to explore how we could inspire young South Africans to celebrate their journey and invest in their own future and we were curious to know how this thinking could manifest visually. So, the Avant Card project was conceived, an art inspired collaboration with some of Africa’s foremost, up-and-coming artists – Trevor Stuurman and The Sartists.
What better way to showcase their work than through our Avant Card Nextibition – our first online art exhibition - where art and our Gold Card meet.
It is a piece of contemporary art and a piece of creative expression of what the Gold card inspired these artists to express and to show us what the card meant to them.
The Sartists chose to draw their inspiration from one of the nation’s great actors, the late Joe Mafela by recreating the iconic earrings he wore on the sitcom “Sgudi Snaysi”, that made him a household name.
Trevor decided to keep it close to home by celebrating his grandmother’s craft of beadwork by creating a beaded bicycle.
Each artist was given full creative license, and we encouraged them to tell intensely personal stories. The resulting artworks are thus intimate expressions of both themselves and their views on contemporary South Africa, and demonstrate the importance of financial independence in achieving one’s next goal or dream.
Don’t take our word for it, check out the Avant Card Nextibition tonight at 6pm on our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).
Then see it come to life in Maboneng on Sunday 23 July at 6.30pm (Fox and Kruger street)
Capture the experience and share it using #SBNextibition to tell South Africa how we’ve taken art to the streets.
... View more
Once you start earning a living, you’ll receive no shortage of well-meaning advice from friends and family on how to navigate your money journey, but one message should be consistent: start saving as soon as possible.
Getting into the habit of saving early will condition you to keep saving throughout your life. The day will come when you’ll want to stop working, and to do this you’ll need an adequate amount of money invested to provide a liveable income. So, knowing how and when to save is critical.
If you work for a corporate, become familiar with your company pension or provident scheme, because not doing so may cost you money. For example, if you buy a house, you’ll need life insurance. You may already be paying for cover through your company, but by not knowing this, you could invest in another policy.
Furthermore, if you start saving now, you won’t need to save large amounts in the future. For example:
Siya invests R1 000 per year from age 22 until age 29, earning a 10% return
Charles invests R1 000 per year from age 30 until age 65, earning a 10% return
At 40, Siya will have R35 891
At 40, Charles will have R20 384
At 50, Siya will have R93 091
At 50, Charles will have R70 403
At 65, Siya will have R388 865
At 65, Charles will have R294 039
Siya will have invested a total of R8 000
Charles will have invested a total of R35 000
Also remember the effects of inflation: let’s assume food costs rise by 7% per year over the next 10 years, and your take-home pay only rises by 4% per year. If you currently spend R2 000 per month on groceries and your take-home income is R10 000 per month, your grocery bill is 20% of your take-home pay. In 10 years, the same groceries will cost you R4 020. If your salary increases at 4% per year over the same period, your take-home pay will be about R14 908, meaning the same household shopping would represent 27% of your take-home pay.
This scenario shows that if you save R500 per month and only achieve a 4% net return against inflation of 7% per year, you’re going backwards in terms of buying power.
Think carefully about the investments you choose. If you’re moving a lot, stick to short-term deposits, money market accounts and unit trusts. When you settle and have a fixed salary, consider a retirement annuity (RA) that will give you a fixed tax deferment.
Ultimately, whichever way you decide to save, you’ll see the results if you’re consistent and have the right help from the outset. Start now so you have peace of mind about your future.
... View more
The future is undoubtedly digital, and businesses from manufacturing to financial services are applying cutting-edge technology to facilitate positive changes in the lives of customers. As such, the learning never stops as every sector throughout the world strives to be the first to invent the latest innovation that matters.
At Standard Bank, we’re committed to driving positive change in Africa and, so, drive the new technologies that will encourage it. Our mobile traffic, after all, is growing 100% a year as branch volumes decline by 15%.
The challenge for banks globally is to align new offerings with rapidly changing demand patterns, and to improve levels of customer engagement. This is no different in Africa, where the ongoing ability to study consumer behaviour will become even more critical to future growth.
We’re very excited about matching innovations to customer needs, however. For instance, we have applied robotics software to our digital account origination, among others, as we look to leverage the power of AI to radically improve systems across numerous business segments and work to digitise a host of mission-critical processes. We’re also continually adopting new customer-centric solutions that range from new apps to contactless banking solutions, as we see an increasing need to employ world-class technology that will drastically bring down the time it takes to conduct banking tasks.
For some time now, we’ve anticipated a very near future where smart automation will be the new operational advantage and, while there is a clear rise in consumer demand, banks will need to build things people want. It’s little surprise then, that we’re bringing you Africa’s first Singularity University Summit, a two-day international event set to highlight the impact of AI, robotics, blockchain and other exponential technologies not only in finance, but in the similarly critical sectors of security, healthcare and design.
To be held on 23 and 24 August in Johannesburg, the SingularityU South Africa Summit invites the public, government officials, entrepreneurs, investors and NGOs to explore the various ways in which current and potential future innovations can tackle the world’s greatest challenges.
Participants will have access to advanced technology, expert-led debates and discussions, and theories of best practice in a variety of fields. Summit speakers include Ramez Naam, computer scientist and award-winning author; Raymond (Ray) McCauley, scientist, engineer and entrepreneur; Adetayo Bamiduro, co-founder and CEO of a crowdsourcing mobility platform for motorcycle taxis in Africa; and Dan Barry, former NASA astronaut.
As Africa’s largest bank by assets, we are fully aware of the challenges and opportunities the changing technological landscape brings, and we will not stand still when it comes to driving digital innovation. Africa is our home, and we drive her growth. This is where support for education and innovation at major events like Singularity University will advance our own thinking, and ultimately assist in finding solutions to futureproof banking in Africa.
... View more
Standard Bank Wealth and Investment won the prestigious Intellidex Award for Best Wealth Manager in South Africa yesterday evening.
According to Christopher Browne, Global Head: Wealth and Investment at Standard Bank, targeted service strategies, relevant management models and client-centricity shine through as plans are put into motion to fulfil the wealth aspirations of clients.
All this, coupled with maintaining strong client relationships and adhering to the principles of integrity, discretion, transparency and accountability, allow Wealth and Investment to craft effective wealth strategies that defy challenging economic environments. Clients are better able to build, preserve and grow their wealth, often achieving superior risk-adjusted investment returns.
Our passion for managing generational wealth further sets Standard Bank Wealth and Investment apart; the Leadership Academies, which are targeted at the family members of our clients, were specifically launched to engage with all members of the family, equipping them with the necessary financial skills to ensure the successful transfer and management of family wealth.
The increasing importance of Africa as a wealth investment location cannot be discounted in any discussion about the future of wealth. This has been cemented by the insights revealed in the 2017 Wealth Report published by Knight Frank and launched in Africa in partnership with Standard Bank Wealth and Investment. In fact, a number of high-net-worth clients across Africa are seeking international diversification, with an ever-increasing appetite for transactional capabilities, investments, lending, real estate and structures, and a focus on increasing digitisation of services.
Additionally, families are adopting a global lifestyle and want to structure their ambitions accordingly. Wealth and Investment’s integrated onshore and offshore proposition serves these clients across the full spectrum of products and services required in their home territories, as well as internationally.
With a presence throughout South Africa as well as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, Jersey and London, combined with the Standard Bank Group’s own African and international presence and 154-year heritage, Wealth and Investment is empowered with the diversification needed to lead a globally effective wealth strategy.
“ Standard Bank is well positioned to deliver bespoke wealth management and banking solutions seamlessly, within South Africa, Africa and offshore.”
We are very proud to have been recognised as the Top Wealth Manager in South Africa, and our focus remains to continue to ensure the unique goals and aspirations of our clients are met for generations to come.
... View more
It is with grave concern that Standard Bank has noted the devastation left in the wake of the raging fires and storms that have swept through the Garden Route and greater Cape region earlier this week.
The fires and storms have claimed numerous lives and displaced thousands of citizens, while completely gutting homes, schools, businesses, and vehicles.
“It is with the deepest, and most heartfelt sympathy that our thoughts go out to those whom have lost loved ones in the Knysna fires and severe weather in Cape Town. Our thoughts too, are with those residents, especially the destitute and vulnerable, who have been displaced and left exposed in the affected areas,” Ben Kruger, CEO of Standard Bank Group.
“I am heartened that so many of South African’s citizens, corporate and individuals, have stepped up to assist with relief work. It is with hope for a better tomorrow for all those affected, that we at Standard Bank are donating R10 million to the efforts. Our wish is that this will bring some relief to those that have been impacted by the natural disasters in all regions affected by the fires and storms. In some areas, entire communities will need to be rebuilt, and my only hope is that this urgent donation will make a difference,” says Mr Kruger.
This donation is in addition to the work that is being done on the ground by the Standard Bank Coastal, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay and Greater Cape regional heads and their teams. The teams have been working since Wednesday evening in the areas to rally drives for donations of food and blankets; running jointly with SFM 90.1 to drive donations from citizens in the Cape. They have donated food parcels, water and cold drinks to fire-fighters and citizens, collected clothing and blankets and are offering alternative, and safe, accommodation, to those who have been displaced.
In addition, the Standard Bank Insurance teams in the area have set up dedicated insurance desks at branches to assist with claim requirements.
Many Standard Bank staff in the region have also contributed financially from their own pockets to help the local residents. Should any individuals or corporates wish to join the drive, donations can be made to the following Standard Bank relief account and funds will be channelled to the affected areas in conjunction with SFM 90.1:
Account name: SFM Streek Rampfonds
Account number: 180559141
... View more
The raging fires and torrential rain that have been sweeping across the Cape since yesterday have left a swathe of destruction in their wake.
Details of the full extent of the damage is not known at this stage as claims, calls and news reports are still coming in.
Large numbers of families have been displaced in both the Knysna and greater Cape Town region and we urge any customers who have been evacuated, or whose homes have been damaged or rendered uninhabitable by the fires or flooding, to contact Standard Bank Insurance urgently. We are doing everything we can to assist with facilitating alternate and safe accommodation, consumables, or anything else to ease the devastating loss and inconveniences experienced by our customers.
Standard Bank Insurance is currently trying to contact our customers in the Knysna regions directly to offer assistance or provide additional support to initiate insurance claims.
We already have assessors in the most areas to speed up the process of facilitating emergency repairs to fire-damaged or flooded homes or vehicles, or any other specialist assistance needed. Standard Bank Insurance has already numerous assisted families and their pets with temporary accommodation where homes have been gutted by fire.
In addition, Standard Bank will be making a R100 000 donation to Gift of the Givers to support relief work in the Western Cape. This donation will be coupled with an internal and corporate client drive to raise additional funds, which Standard Bank will match.
Standard Bank’s provincial team in the Western Cape have also made R10 000 available for disaster relief in a special account opened for the cause. Should any of our clients wish to contribute, they can make their donations to the following Standard Bank account:
Account name: SFM Streek Rampfonds
Account number: 180559141
“With the fires still not under control and with reports claiming the fires and storms in other parts of the Cape may continue to wreak havoc, it is vital that all individuals and families keep safe and take all available precautions,” says Denise Shaw, COO of Standard Insurance Limited.
Standard Insurance Limited began introducing emergency protocols to assist customers when warnings of the impending storm were first received. As claims started coming in, the plans were activated to ensure that customers could lodge claims as quickly and simply as possible. So far, Standard Insurance Limited has registered 301 insurance claims in the Knysna and the greater Cape Town region in the past 24 hours.
Claims can be registered by contacting Standard Insurance Limited telephonically on 0860 123 444 for structural or building claims, or on 0860 109 459 for vehicle claims. Alternatively customers can log claims via the Standard Bank mobile or tablet app.
Emails, including details of name, ID number and cell number, can be sent to email@example.com . Alternatively, c ustomers can visit their nearest Standard Bank branch, and staff will gladly assist with facilitating assistance or lodging claims.
... View more
Look to the national budget and make Tax-free Investments or Savings Accounts a part of your financial planning
With just hours to go before this year’s national budget speech, we can advise that all South Africans need to begin saving, no matter what the Finance Minister presents. All that’s needed is personal determination to develop a savings discipline. Add the opportunities offered by a tax-free investment account (TFIA), also known as a tax-free savings account (TFSA), and the results could be very rewarding.
According to Errol Meyer, Head of Advisory Financial Consulting at Standard Bank, the Treasury has come to the aid of South Africans who see taxes and inflation eroding the value of their non-retirement savings by offering an additional option. Tax-free accounts can be used for long-term goals, but most ideally for short-term goals, such as future holidays and education. They are valuable additions to retirement annuities, which cater for long-term savings, and South Africans should consider them as part of their personal financial planning efforts.
Presently, tax-free accounts offer an opportunity to save up to R30 000 a year tax free, with a lifetime limit of R500 000 per person – though this could change with the budget announcements. The key to the success of tax-free accounts is that they are flexible: you can begin saving with as little as R150 – R250 a month, and various financial institutions structure their TFIA accounts to offer investments in a wide variety of asset classes from equities, unit trusts and bonds to listed property funds and cash.
Even though the financial year for taxpayers is approaching rapidly, any investment made before 28 February will qualify for tax-free status. The advantages offered by tax-free accounts include:
No tax on interest earned
The accounts offer a tax-free haven for deposits from other accounts that would attract tax
Withdrawals are tax-free to the lifetime limit of R500 000
Money may be withdrawn at any time and moved from one tax-free account to another
Significant opportunities for young South Africans to save
An investment alternative for parents who can pay the R30 000 annual limit into an account for a child.
As with most savings, the longer cash stays in the account, the quicker it grows. The objective should be to not make withdrawals from these accounts for between three and five years to let benefits grow. Where possible, the amount deposited each year should be adjusted subject to the limits to take care of inflation, so returns are not lessened by changing financial circumstances.
Whether the Minister announces a rise in the deposit maximum for tax free accounts this year or not, this is an opportunity to save for the future that should not be ignored by any South Africans, young or old, no matter the tax bracket they fall in.
... View more
For most of us, the key take-away of each year’s budget speech is how much more or less tax we will be paying, not necessarily how and why. But with Budget 2017 taking place on Wednesday this week, Standard Bank has put together an explainer that comprehensively breaks down what the average consumer could expect:
Bracket creep to disproportionately affect middle-income earners
Last year’s Medium-Term Budget stipulated tax increases to ensure that government revenue would rise by R28 billion for the 2017/18 tax year, and R15 billion in 2018/19. However, the recent rally in commodity prices and our forecast that GDP growth may accelerate to 1.4% this year, will buy South Africa more time before a VAT increase is required.
VAT hike has a disproportionate effect on low-income earners
A VAT hike means a rise in living costs for all consumers, but the effect is felt more strongly by lower-income households. Household expenditure data from the BMR (Bureau of Marketing Research) shows that households earning below R89 000 per annum spend between 36% and 42% of their income on groceries.
PIT weighs more on middle-income earners
GDP growth over the next three years is expected to remain below potential, thus unlikely to create new employment to broaden the tax base. This means growth in Personal Income Tax (PIT) revenue can only be achieved by higher taxes and/or bracket creep.
Bracket creep will affect the middle-income consumer disproportionately (those earning between R89 000 to R707 000 a year), because this segment’s majority (85%) relies more on salaries and wages as a primary source of income. In addition, this segment includes civil servant professions. Given that government is currently scaling down on its wage bill, the purchasing power of this group is at risk. Furthermore, debt levels are higher among the middle segments than for low and affluent earners.
CIT tax to benefit from higher commodity prices
Due to the economic slowdown and fall in commodity prices, the contribution of Corporate Income Tax (CIT) to total tax revenue decreased. An increase in the CIT rate is seen as potentially counterproductive, since South Africa has reached the threshold above which additional increases may have a negative effect on revenue collected. However, the recent commodity price rally has boosted earnings of major tax-contributing corporates in the mining sector, recently resulting in better-than-expected CIT collections.
We expect current commodity prices to remain near current levels in 2017, having a positive effect on CIT revenue in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 fiscal years.
Income gap narrowing
BMR data shows government’s fiscal policy has made progress in reducing income inequality. Currently, over 17 million South Africans receive social grants, with 24% of households relying on grants as their main source of income. We estimate that the ratio of average income in the lowest income group to average income in the highest income group declined by about 43%.
... View more
In a first for South Africa, Standard Bank Group has partnered with GE to provide a ‘Health Accelerator’ programme that provides technical, clinical and business acumen to South African healthcare professionals who want to improve and grow their existing practices, or even transition into private practice. Announced in November 2016, the programme’s first participants begin their training this month.
Over the next six months, the first participants will undertake a professional development journey in which they will learn from leading experts in enterprise development, healthcare management and innovation, human resources, marketing, business ethics, and governance. The modules – a total of 24 – will be delivered weekly in a classroom environment at the GE Africa Innovation Centre in Houghton and at the Standard Bank Incubator in Rosebank. Additional resources will be provided through e-learning platforms and masterclasses.
The programme is part of GE’s Enterprise and Supplier Development Accelerator in Africa. It was activated by Londvolota, GE South Africa’s BBBEE partner, which is focused on building entrepreneurial capability within Black-Owned companies in the country. Similarly, the Standard Bank Incubator supports entrepreneurs through skills development, support and mentorship, and provides access to industry experts.
According to Standard Bank Joint-CEO Sim Tshabalala, both Standard Bank and GE recognise the value of small businesses as drivers of job creation and economic growth; both companies hold enterprise development, skills development and innovation as core business objectives; and both are strongly committed to supporting more inclusive growth and economic transformation in South Africa.
The aforementioned common values surely form a strong part of the reason for this long-term alliance; in 2014, we collaborated to improve access to affordable power infrastructure. That collaboration has since expanded into new sectors, including a partnership between Standard Bank Kenya and General Electric Healthcare East Africa to finance, install and manage diagnostic equipment in Kenya’s public hospitals.
Referring to the almost three-years of successful association, Mr Tshabalala reveals that it has enabled us to pool our different areas of expertise to support our shared objectives through the launch of the Healthcare Accelerator.
Head of the Standard Bank Incubator Jayshree Naidoo, says that our goal in partnering with GE is to work jointly towards growing the community of healthcare professionals across the continent. This will be done by ensuring the success of the professionals that are selected for the Accelerator programmes.
... View more