The rich and profound heritage of Standard bank can be traced as far back as 157 years ago to the early 1860’s, established by prominent politician and successful businessman of the Cape Colony, John Paterson.
Founded at the back of a flourishing wool industry, Standard Bank (then known as The Standard bank of British South Africa), set up its first office in Port Elizabeth which formed part of the then Cape Colony.
Initially, Standard Bank’s growth in South Africa was fuelled by resource industries – gold, diamonds and agriculture. In 1886, Standard Bank was the first bank to open a branch (in a tent) on the Witwatersrand gold fields in Johannesburg, then known as Ferreira’s Camp.
Through strategic rapid expansion driven by the opening of branches in towns of economic importance coupled with continent expansion, Standard bank quickly established itself as a dominant and leading bank in size and presence.
Standard bank has since built a strong African heritage with now on-the-ground presence in 20 countries on the African continent, resulting in solid local knowledge required to operate a successful business in Africa.
Astute leadership with unparalleled levels of adaptability and foresight have been key traits that have permeated across all generations of leaders of the bank since inception. Leadership at Standard bank has evolved over time, however consistently at the helm of the bank has been extraordinarily versatile and accomplished leaders a unique range and depth of experience. Standard bank has been characterised by pioneering leadership who have left an indelible mark not within the financial services sector but on business as a whole whilst contributing immensely in helping transform and modernise the South African economy. Testament to the bank’s quality leadership, Tshabalala, the current group chief executive officer, was recently recognised as the CEO of the decade the The Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) Awards in 2018.
Quality leadership is equally apparent in the Standard Bank leadership teams situated in the various geographies of operation including Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Daily, our people are determined to serve our clients with consistent excellence, to uphold the highest levels of integrity, and to do everything in their power to drive Africa’s growth. In line with the group’s strategic value drivers, through diligence in execution Standard bankers continuously seek improvements to deliver what matters to customers. From Nigeria to South Africa, innovation sits at the core of the standard bank culture culminating into the development of solutions for the opportunities and challenges that our people face.
As Standard bank, we remain resolute in our commitment to achieving our vision and purpose of driving Africa’s growth. The success of this vision hinges on us becoming a digitally agile and client-centric provider of financial services and products.
Our strategy as a bank is underpinned by three core focus areas of doing valuable things for our clients (Client Centricity), in a digital way (Digitisation) whilst delivering a seamless universal financial services proposition (Universal Financial Services Organisation). The 2018 Global Finance Awards, presented on the side-lines of the 2018 IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting in Indonesia, recognised Standard bank as the Best Bank in Africa, as well as Best Bank in Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda. These awards recognise the success of our client-focussed strategy across our African footprint, especially in the markets which have also shown strong uptake of our innovative digital banking platforms.
The journey that we have embarked on to become truly client centric enables us to say that we are a 157-year-old organisation with the drive of a startup, constantly hungry for growth, development and improvement.
Focusing on the client lies at the heart of our business, because we care about what matters to our clients. Keeping with the key focus area of client centricity, we constantly strive to understand our clients, deliver excellent experiences to them and offer them solutions that they need.
As a bank, we are entrusted with a wide base of very loyal clients who have chosen Standard Bank over a long period of time. Serving our clients quickly, efficiently, reliably and respectfully, and earning and keeping their trust, then becomes a strategic imperative for us. An important part of the 157-year history has been the journey to stay relevant. Clients’ instincts and behaviour have changed fundamentally, they want to be self-enabled and do banking services whenever and wherever they want. Our success is increasingly premised on digital capabilities, where the interface with the bank will be through a mobile device and the bank will be 24/7 always on and always connected.
One of the key forces shaping our world of banking is the rapid pace at which our customers are adopting digital banking services.
In response to this shift in customer behaviour, we at Standard Bank continue to widen, deepen and accelerate our digital journey. We believe that digitisation is more than just technology; it is about delivering the Universal Bank through secure personalised, relevant and digitally enhanced experiences to clients and staff real-time, all the time.
A myriad of technological advances currently exists in Standard Bank that are changing the face of banking as we know it. These advances include the Standard Bank Mobile App with expanded functionality which has become one of the main conduits that we utilise to engage with and service our clients. We are particularly proud of our progressive journey in leveraging blockchain technology amongst many digital innovations within the bank. Academies exist across the group aimed at cultivating and growing future skills and talent in intelligent automation as well as creative and design thinking. This ensures that we continue to have the best people moving Standard Bank forward.
Innovating and digitising for African needs remains priority for us, therefore through strategic partnerships, Standard bank continues to enable African companies, with particular focus on tech-start ups to grow.
SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT
Our purpose is to drive Africa’s growth. We are committed to being more than a provider of financial products services ? we are a catalyst for economic change in countries of operation and we make life better for fellow Africans by doing the right business.
Our long-term profitability depends on the stability and of our continent. Our pursuit of profit in competitive markets will lead, in the main to socially beneficial outcomes for our stakeholders. This is an incredible opportunity for us to make a real difference in the world and to contribute something that is lasting and powerful.