Q: Kindly share with us an overview of Stanbic’s wholesale banking sector in terms of what it is and what/who it comprises of?
A: Stanbic Bank Botswana’s Wholesale Clients Segment serves a wide range of requirements for banking, finance, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services. Wholesale Clients Segment delivers this comprehensive range of products and services relating to: investment banking; global markets; and global transactional products and services. Stanbic Bank Botswana’s Wholesale Clients expertise is focused on industry sectors that are most relevant to emerging markets. This division within the Bank was previously dubbed “Corporate & Investment Banking” (CIB).
Q: What are the key areas of focus?
A: Through Wholesale Clients, we offer the full spectrum of corporate and investment banking solutions across diverse segments and sectors. We have strong offerings in Power and Infrastructure, Mining and Metals, Industrials, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Telecommunications and Media, Oil and Gas and Non-Banking Financial Institutions & Financial Institutions. Furthermore, Wholesale Clients Segment offers Investor Services which include highly specialised financial administrative services such as custodial and trustee services which are instrumental to the investment management and governance process in the market.
Q: What is the customer value proposition?
A: We are committed to driving real progress in Botswana. That’s why we believe in ‘Powering Positive Impact, Together.’ This means we focus on ensuring committed leadership, being deeply invested, ensuring actionable insights, a truly connected network, and meaningful innovation. We commit all our resources (our talent and technology) to back your ambition as our client. In one word, if we had to sum it all up, we are Invested. Together, we can achieve meaningful things.
Q: With more financial institutions and banks offering such services, what makes the bank stand out?
A: We are proud of the incredible team we have in place, all of whom have an unwavering dedication to support our client growth journeys, ultimately working in unison to fuel Botswana’s growth, in line with our Purpose as Stanbic Bank – Botswana is our home; we drive her growth. Thorough their unrivalled experience, expertise and passion, we are able to make tangible impacts and wield truly positive change and progress, demonstrating through action that, with Stanbic Bank, It Can Be. Our clients testify to this as we see ourselves as veritable partners for and with them. Further, we have a number of accolades that sit within this space. In our continued pursuit of providing a universal banking solution to our customers, Stanbic Bank has recently been enthroned the titles of Best Treasury & Cash Management Bank in Botswana 2019 from Global Finance Magazine and the Best Investment Bank in Botswana 2020 award from the same publication as well as the Best Foreign Exchange Provider 2020 award from Global Finance & Review. These awards are in recognition of Stanbic Bank Botswana’s support of economic activity in various sectors.
Beyond this, we are able to readily tap into the 150 years plus of experience of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets. The Group has direct, on-the-ground representation in 20 African countries and in 5 global financial centres, making it one of the largest banking networks on the continent. It provides global connections backed by deep insights into the countries where it operates and its expertise in the Wholesale Clients segment adds further depth to the talent we are able to reach for.
Q: Has the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the roles played by the bank under wholesale banking in terms of product developments, customer-centric strategies etc?
A: I do not think any business can claim the pandemic has not changed this. For individuals, families, business, industries and communities, COVID-19 has re-written all the rules about what we thought we knew. However, it has also forced us to shift gears to become more agile, show our true resilience, and accelerate our innovation and digitisation efforts. This is no different for us as Stanbic Bank Botswana and indeed within Wholesale Clients. We have worked to innovate and collaborate to support our colleagues and clients better, enhanced safety and wellbeing protocols in line with Government advisory, move to more digital solutions and at reduced rates for much of the period after the first windfall in Botswana, and increased new solutions in line with this.
Our eMarketTrader Mobile App is one example. The App launch comes on the back of the launch of the eMarketTrader in 2019, which enabled clients to access real time Forex (FX) rates. eMarketTrader Mobile App now takes that functionality a step further by giving clients additional capabilities via mobile App, catering for the truly on-the-go modern customer, whether personal or corporate. This is an example of inclusion, convenience and digitisation in action, as we work to be there and show up for our clients in increasingly effective ways.
Q: When it comes to wholesale banking it is arguable that digitisation has lagged compared to retail banking. What has the bank done for comprehensive digital transformation to keep up with clients requirements and experience?
A: One area we may look at here is that of Global Markets. In the Global Markets space we recently launched the eMarketTrader Mobile App, an extension of eMarket Trader launched a few years ago. These platforms allows clients access to foreign currency rates and research material, and if registered, clients can execute trades independently on the digital plaforms. The Mobile App now brings greater convenience and accessibility whilst on the go.
In the retail space, we see the overarching Stanbic Bank Mobile App, our Instant Money service and more. These are indeed innovative, inclusive and future-forward developments.
One cannot quite compare apples with oranges, or in this case retail banking with wholesale banking as the two are very different beasts – each with their own nuances, and yet each evolving and progressing in this digital revolution in their own right.