Standard Chartered, a leading international lender has announced plans to step up investment and leverage its unique footprint and international banking expertise to drive Africa’s growth aspirations.
The London-listed banking group, which also has operations in Botswana recently launched a new brand campaign, ‘Here for Africa’, which it said reiterates its commitment to investing in Africa’s future, and continue to support key growth sectors across local economies which include infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, retail and trade. The bank is competing for the seemingly lucrative African banking space with other lenders such as South Africa’s Standard Bank, Atlas Mara’s African Banking Corporation and arch-rivals Barclays Bank, which also traces its origin in Britain. However, Standard Chartered said it is ready to fight for its market share and ultimately become the Number One bank to go to in the continent. The bank announced late last year that it has its heightened focus on Africa, ‘seeking to grow its business across all markets, with a keen focus on Corporate and Commercial segments’.
Speaking during the launch of the Africa-focused campaign in Ghana recently, Sunil Kaushal, the Regional CEO of Africa and Middle East said, ‘Africa is an integral and a valuable economic partner region within our unique footprint across the region, Asia and the Middle East. This campaign is about our show of commitment and confidence in a continent that we have been in for over 150 years.’ The banking group, which operates 1200 branches across the globe, considers itself truly African in the sense that it has tailored its strategy to the Africa’s specific trends and business dynamics.
Currently, Standard Chartered supports over 1 million retail customers in Africa, and over 25,000 commercial, corporate and institutional clients. In November last year, the Bank committed $3 billion in strategic investments globally, over the next three years - a commitment which has already seen Africa benefiting with a multi-market upgrade of digital and mobile banking platforms. “We believe in forging strong partnerships which deliver tangible value for all members of Africa’s economies, not just our clients. Our USD5 billion commitment to President Obama’s Power Africa campaign, in partnership with African governments, continues to light,” said Kaushal.
In Botswana, Standard Chartered Chief Executive, Moatlhodi Lekaukau said the group’s aggressive campaign in the continent could not have come at a better time. Locally, his bank has done a lot to empower and service Batswana. “As the country celebrates her Golden Jubilee, we are proud to have supported Botswana’s economic development over the years. Being the oldest Bank in Botswana, Standard Chartered will in 2017 be celebrating 120 years of delivering tangible benefits to support local economic growth,” said Lekaukau, a University of Cape Town educated accountant.
“These benefits include development of human capital; roll-out of digital banking solutions to more than 100,000 retail customers; locally offering a diversified range of offshore Fixed Income securities from over 25 countries supported with a strong advisory expertise, as well as empowering local entrepreneurs by bridging the gap between large multinationals and local suppliers through our successful supply chain financing proposition”.Standard Chartered is among the top four banks in Botswana and it is locally listed at Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).
Standard Chartered operates in 38 African economies, 16 on a full-presence basis and 22 on a transactional basis. The Bank’s footprint of 180 branches and outlets now has an extended reach, thanks to the Bank’s continuous evolution of its digital platforms and mobile banking channels.