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StanChart gears for growth

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The bank has accelerated on more resilient business platforms since its return to profit in 2018

GAZETTE REPORTER

After Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Limited’s return to profitability, the bank is now stable enough to roll out more products aimed at increasing market presence and non-interest income, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mpho Masupe has said.

The bank announced its half-year results for the period ended 30 June 2019 recently.

Standard Bank, building on the effective delivery of its turnaround strategy that saw it return to profitability in 2018, accelerated on more resilient business platforms to register an overall 20 percent growth in profit before tax (PBT) to P33.1 million.

Greater business efficiencies realised during the period, coupled with realigned cost structures, enabled the business to yield a 14 percent overall reduction in operating costs, this despite key investments made during the period for a major roll out of the digital bank.

The bank’s management strategy to secure more sustainable business portfolios saw overall client deposits grow 6 percent and an overall 8 percent growth in the balance sheet over the 12-month period. The business foundations too have been secured with capital adequacy stable at 19.4 percent and an asset to deposit ratio of 63 percent.

Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Mbako Mbo, has emphasised that following on from the necessary turnaround strategy, the bank was geared for growth. “Registering a successive period of profitability following previously impacted performance pays testament to the success of management’s turnaround strategy,” Mbo said.

“We can now more confidently accelerate businesses knowing that they are leveraging off more resilient, sustainable and focused portfolios. Profitability is not yet at the levels that the bank expects, but we can confidently say that the fundamentals have been secured.”

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mpho Masupe, said Standard was ready to accelerate bolder business steps. “The positive results that have been realised in our financial performance allow us to now be bolder and quicker in our rollout of products, services and enhancements to the market,” Masupe said. “We have already demonstrated this, in the first half of 2019.

“We have augmented our Personal Loan offering by increasing limits to a market-first of P600,000 with record levels of uptake from within the market. We further enhanced bancassurance offerings through strategic partnerships with key industry players, and most prominently we launched Botswana’s first Digital Retail Bank. “

Masupe noted that the revolutionary Digital Retail Bank accessed through the SC Mobile Botswana App had opened up the Standard’s reach and created depth in demographics where the bank had been lagging.

He said the Digital Bank had given prospective clients the control of opening a bank account in 15 minutes from their smart device without ever needing to step into a branch. From their devices, clients also have access to growing platforms of over 70 services, discounts through alliance partners and greatly affordable banking services.

Masupe said market uptake had been strong and funding levels for the digital bank have been impressive. He added that the nature of the bank’s deliberate strategy to disrupt through digital innovation means that the platforms are continually being enhanced and refined through usage with the benefits sitting in the palms of the bank’s customers both through innovation and cost of service.

“Standard Chartered has been a bank of firsts in the Botswana market, and we are confident in the platform we now have to accelerate into the second half of 2019,” said Masupe. “We will be bringing even greater digital integration into all our business segments, finding greater depth in products and services where our business is geared to innovate and leverage.”

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