MEA July 2017

24 MEA MARKETS / July 2017 , The Standard Bank of British South Africa, Limited was established and its Memorandum of Association signed in London on 13 October 1862. We invited business information officer, Popi Kunene to profile the bank’s visionary and inspiring work. Driving Africa’s Growth The Standard Bank of British South Africa, Limited was incorporated and registered as a limited liability company on 15 October 1862. Branch banking operations commenced in January 1863, in Port Elizabeth. A feature which distinguished the imperial banks like Standard Bank, from the local private banks, was the establishment of a branch network. In 1881, the bank’s Memorandum of Association was altered to enable it to operate in areas outside British jurisdiction and in 1883 the word ‘British’ was dropped from its title. The bank was henceforth known as The Standard Bank of South Africa, Limited. In 1962, a South African subsidiary was formed for which the name The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited was retained, while the parent company in London became known as The Standard Bank Limited (later Standard Chartered). The 1960’s also saw the diversification of financial services, transforming them into a financial services institution rather than a purely commercial bank. By 1969, the bank had several subsidiary companies and Standard Bank Investment Corporation (Stanbic) was formed to serve as a holding company for the Standard Bank Group in South Africa. In 1987, Standard Chartered sold its remaining 39% interest in Standard Bank, leaving it as purely South African owned for the first time. The severing of ties saw Standard Bank going into competition with Standard Chartered Bank in Africa, while it also established representative offices overseas. To better reflect the group’s structure as a unified banking and financial services organisation, the name Standard Bank Investment Corporation was changed to Standard Bank Group Limited, in June 2002. By 2007, Standard Bank’s foreign ownership stood at about 25%. In a landmark deal, Standard Bank Group entered a strategic partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), the world’s largest bank by market capitalisation whereby ICBC became a 20% shareholder in Standard Bank Group in 2008. Foreign ownership increased to about 40%, leaving Standard Bank still majority South African- owned. Throughout the years, Standard Bank achieved many ‘firsts’ including being the first bank on the diamond fields and on the Witwatersrand gold fields, the first commercial bank to launch an Automated Teller Machine (AutoBank) and to establish a full electronic branch. Standard Bank Group is the largest African banking group by assets, offering a full range of banking and related financial services. Our vision is to be the leading financial services organisation in, for and across Africa, delivering exceptional client experiences and superior value. This sets the primary goals and standard of excellence we intend to achieve in the medium term. With a heritage of over 150 years, we have an on-the- ground presence in 20 countries in sub‑Saharan Africa; fit- for-purpose representation outside Africa; and a strategic partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). In line with the realities of risk, regulation, technology and competition that characterise our operating context, we continue to invest significantly in our diversified operations; people and culture; systems and infrastructure and brand. In doing so, we understand that our commercial success and social relevance over the long-term depends on placing our clients at the centre of everything we do, and ensures that the outcomes of our activities are a catalyst for growth on this continent we call ‘home’. The long-term foreign currency ratings for The Standard Bank of South Africa, the single largest operating entity within the Standard Bank Group, are: 1703ME02 Fitch Ratings BBB- (negative), Moody’s Baa2 (negative) and Standard & Poor’s BBB- (negative). The group is listed on the JSE Limited, share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB. The largest bank in the world, ICBC, is a 20.1% shareholder in the group. Other than the 20.1% ICBC shareholding, 32.9% of Standard Bank’s shareholder base is foreign. We subscribe to the Code of Banking Practice, a set of principles governing banking in South Africa and ensuring the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and fairness. In addition, we always uphold the highest levels of integrity. Finally, our values are as follows. Serving our customers We do everything in our power to ensure that we provide our customers with the products, services and solutions to suit their needs, if everything we do for them is based on sound business principles. Growing our people We encourage and help our people to develop to their full potential, and measure our leaders on how well they grow and challenge the people they lead.