Standard Bank reaffirms confidence in Nigeria
By AMAKA ABAYOMI
GROUP Chairman, Standard Bank Group, Fred Phaswana, has reaffirmed the bank’s confidence in Nigeria, saying Standard bank is committed to serving as a catalyst to aid Nigeria and Nigerians capitalize on her enormous potential by deepening its roots in Nigeria.
According to Phaswana, it is the assessment of the potential within that has underscored Standard Bank’s continuing interest in Nigeria and its determination to increasingly entrench itself in the country.
“In our quest to deepen Standard Bank’s roots in Nigeria even further, we assembled our Group Directors in Lagos for the annual Group Directors Board Meeting and Strategy Session, which typically takes place in South Africa.
“This is a strong reflection of how vital Nigeria is to Standard Bank Group that we chose to hold these very high level deliberations in Nigeria because the country’s economic vibrancy is very impressive and reflects its immense potential.”
According to Saki Macozoma, its Joint Deputy Chairman, “Standard Bank will be 150 years old in 2012; and as a bank deeply rooted in Africa, we can see the potential that Nigeria epitomizes and are very keen to see ourselves grow alongside Nigeria because Nigeria is an incredibly vibrant country and we plan to be here for the long haul, helping it to optimize its immense potential.”
Pointing out that Standard Bank is keen to grow bigger in Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Bank Group, Jacko Maree said the bank has modified its business strategy to become more keenly focused on Africa, particularly Nigeria.
“In line with this Africa focus, we will vigorously strive to connect Africa with opportunities in key economies and fast-growth markets across the world, including the BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
“Standard Bank’s partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, is strong evidence of its commitment to connecting Nigeria and other emerging markets with fast growth markets across the world. ICBC is the world’s largest bank by market capitalization and owns a 20 per cent stake in Standard Bank.
This was affirmed by ICBC’s Senior Executive Vice President, Hongli Zhang, also Joint Deputy Chairman of Standard Bank Group, saying that ICBC will remain very supportive of Standard Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank’s efforts in Nigeria.
Sola David-Borha, Stanbic IBTC Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, emphasized that the bank will continue its aggressive retail expansion alongside ongoing growth in its Corporate and Investment Banking Division as well as the Wealth Division.
Even its choice of products has been such as to emphasize that it is a full-fledged commercial bank with a disposition to provide service across the entire demographic spectrum.
It offers microfinance products like E.su.su, Home Loan products, Vehicle and Asset Finance, and SME Quick Loan, among others.
It is also one of the first banks to be awarded a mobile money license and is warming up to play a big role in the forthcoming cashless regime in the country.
With extensive operations in 17 African countries and 13 countries outside Africa, Standard Bank is distinguished by an emerging markets focus and its customers benefit from the group’s knowledge of and experience in emerging markets coupled with its global outlook.
With over 53,000 employees worldwide, it boasts a market capitalization, as at December 31, 2010, of $26 billion.