Standard Bank Enters Its 17th Decade As Africa’s Largest Financial Services Business

Kwamina Asomaning

In October 1862 in the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, what was to become Africa’s largest financial services business was birthed.

Standard Bank, then known as The Standard Bank of British South Africa started doing business in a tent in Johannesburg, then known as Ferreira’s Camp, defying many odds in very challenging times.

From very humble beginnings, the bank has grown to span 20 African countries and 5 global financial centres. Very early in the life of the bank, it set out to build the leading African financial services organisation strategically positioned to drive growth on the continent.

With a market capitalization of $15 billion, the bank currently employs approximately 50,000 people across all geographies with 1100 branches and over 6 500 ATMs on the African continent.

This enables it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.

This year, the bank marks its 160th anniversary as Africa’s foremost financial services business. Sim Tshabalala, Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Standard Bank dedicated the successes of the bank over the past 16 decades to clients of the bank across the world.

He said “We enter our seventeenth decade with pride as Africa’s largest and most capable financial services business – and with enduring gratitude for our strong relationships with our clients.”

The Chief Executive of Standard Bank’s subsidiary in Ghana – Stanbic Bank, Kwamina Asomaning reflected on the bank’s contribution to the country’s development over the two decades it has been operating in the country.

According to him, “Ghana epitomizes the can-do-spirit, and the ever-present relentlessness of Africa.

We identify with many stories of the limitless resources and opportunities but are equally constrained by regular instances of missed opportunities and underutilized resources. That is a narrative the Standard Bank Group is reshaping, and to which we continue to contribute.”

He added that “Guided by these ideals, we take pride in our contributions to Ghana’s economic growth. Key investments in critical sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, mining, and telecommunications have made a huge difference.

For 23-plus years we have advocated for sustainable prosperity while maintaining a robust risk framework. With our innovative and best-in-class products, we ensure that the right business is done the right way, for the right results.”

Kwamina Asomaning also thanked the thousands of employees who dedicated their time and skills to building the bank in Ghana.

“We look back on our successes of the past two decades in Ghana with much appreciation of the thousands of employees who committed their time, skill and knowledge into building a pace setter brand. We acknowledge their dedication and, on this occasion, pay tribute to those here and beyond.

We will look into the future with hope and optimism being confident that the future of humanity lies in this country and the continent”.

Standard Bank’s interventions on the African continent have been far-reaching. The bank’s CSI initiatives are aimed at achieving and sustaining positive social development of the communities across the continent.

Through various community interventions, their effective community re-investment reinforce their values as a bank dedicated to the growth of Africa.

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