At Stanbic Bank, Sheperd Aisam, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking says the bank has been able to acquire new corporate clients annually in accordance with the bank’s objectives and in turn increased corporate banking’s contribution to overall bank revenue.

Sheperd Aisam, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking
  1. Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) is an important banking segment at Stanbic Bank. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were badly impacted, affecting their performance and ability to service financial liabilities.  Was this the case with your clients?


  1. In CIB, we look after clients who operate in various sectors. The impact of COVID-19 was felt in all sectors, some much more than others. The most impacted has been the tourism sector due to lockdowns and closure of borders. We partnered with our clients to assess their financial situation in the sectors impacted and extended moratoriums and restructures where we saw the need. This was to reassure our clients that even in such difficult times, we will still fulfill our promise of having them at the centre of everything we do. It is about demonstrating that we walk alongside our clients through the highs and lows that life throws at them. As Stanbic Bank, we are in it for the long-haul.


  1. As a result of business disruptions during COVID-19, is Stanbic leveraging on digitisation and innovation to ensure that it remains as client-centric in corporate and investment banking as it was before COVID-19?


  1. The pandemic possibly aided in fast-tracking adoption and use of digital solutions we offer in CIB and compelled us to move faster in our digital and innovation transformation journey. There is a greater demand to co-create solutions with our clients to serve their needs, therefore creating an opportunity to generate new solutions and tap into new markets. We are working tirelessly to create a future bank that our clients will be thrilled to partner with to meet their evolving needs.


  1. What is your current market share in corporate banking and what matrices do you use to measure it?


  1. We consider ourselves a bank that measures ourselves equally against our social, economic and environmental impact (SEE), and as such, we support clients across most of the major sectors that drive the economy. Our SEE strategic value driver is central to all that we do.


  1. Which economic sectors in Corporate Banking does Stanbic focus on?


  1. We focus on all sectors that contribute to the GDP of the Botswana economy. From mining all the way across to agriculture. We do everything to be able to enable Botswana’s growth because Botswana is our home; we drive her growth. To us, this not just a catchphrase but something that we are fully committed to and stand by. It is our very Purpose.


  1. How much does the corporate banking segment contribute to performance of the bank or what role does the segment play in the financial performance of the bank?


  1. CIB is a major contributor to the bank’s overall profitability. However, this achievement is a collaborative effort from all segments in the bank. Our ecosystem initiatives are slowly reaping the fruits we envision, positively impacting not one but many more, in various ecosystems and thereby transforming lives for the better.


  1. How has the segment grown in terms of clients, revenue and contribution to the bank?


  1. In recent years, our focus has been on acquiring new clients to the franchise while growing and maintaining our existing relationships. We have been able to acquire new clients annually in accordance with our objectives, and have in turn increased our contribution to overall bank revenue. One may wonder how this has impacted our client experience. Our clients remain at the centre of everything we do, and every client is equally important to us. By focusing on improving our client experience on each touch-point with the bank, we have been able to increase our client base without compromising our clients’ experience of, with and at the bank. This is evident in the feedback we have received from our clients which has improved year-on-year.


  1. What role does the segment play in the economy and what are the banks’ priorities in terms of sectors?


  1. CIB plays a pivotal role in the economy. We aid and support the government with expertise, advisory support and often funding via Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements for large scale national projects. We support across the wider National Development Plan (NDP) eco-system, supporting notable and important projects that will drive our economy.


  1. Businesses are seeing limited opportunities in Botswana due to the impact of COVID-19, hence they tend to shy away from borrowing until more propitious opportunities present themselves.  What does this mean for Stanbic’s commercial segment?


  1. COVID-19 has brought about many challenges and has compelled us to build resilience. This pandemic has indeed shown us all that in order to survive, one must be able to adapt to adversity and grow from it. The conventional ways of banking alone will not guarantee one a seat at the table. Opportunities are no longer only centred around lending and liquidity raising but on new and innovative ways in which we can partner and add value to our clients. Our clients are increasingly seeing us a trusted collaborative partner, more than just a bank.


  1. Which sub-segments play an important role in corporate banking, given that credit growth is subdued?


  1. CIB does not work in silos. We work very closely with our Personal and Business Banking teams, our Credit Department and many other functions within the bank to deliver an integrated, universal organisation to the client.


  1. Given that Botswana is a retail market, what is the trade-off for the bank to heavily focus on corporate banking?


  1. Stanbic Bank Botswana plays a part in all segments
    (Personal, SME, Commercial and Corporate Banking). All these segments are equally important to driving the growth we speak of so fondly. Our ecosystem strategy is centred around leveraging our corporate and business segments to grow our retail market. Be reminded that when Stanbic Bank started operating in 1992, it was predominately focused on corporate banking. Since the introduction of retail banking, the bank has increased its branch network to 13 branches and over 74 ATMs, introduced Mobile Banking, Online Banking and the Stanbic Bank App to service our retail market. We remain committed to growing Batswana and offering the best banking experience.


  1. What opportunities for differentiation does the bank see in this segment of commercial banking?


  1. Differentiation will come from truly putting the customer and their needs at the centre of what we do. This is what we are solely obsessed with at Stanbic Bank.


  1. How does the bank respond to a complex regulatory environment, emerging global standards, and real-time transactions which drive up costs and impede growth?


  1. Having a robust control environment, both internally and externally, only improves the value to the client. All the players in the ecosystem are ultimately there to protect, serve and add value to the client.


Q . What is the bank doing to embed digital capabilities to aid expense reductions and efficiency gains?


  1. Innovation and becoming a bank of the future is a key focus of Stanbic Bank. Expense reduction will be a by-product of this focus. The main intention is to respond to customer pain-points and feedback; to create a more seamless relationship with the bank and increase efficiencies for their benefit.