Business WriterStanbic Bank Zimbabwe has been named “Best Bank of The Year in 2019” by leading financial magazine, The Banker, at a glitzy gala in London. The leading financial services institution was commended for shrugging off the prevailing skewed economic environment as it helped secure the prestigious Bank of the Year 2019 Country Awards for its parent company, Standard Bank Group.
Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe joined other Standard Bank country subsidiaries — South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, and Angola — in ensuring that Standard Bank Group is recognised for the umpteenth time for banking excellence over the past year.
Now in their 19th year, The Bank of The Year Awards are regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence and are sponsored by The Banker which is part of the Financial Times Group, billed as one of the most trusted sources of global banking information since 1926.
In their commentary, The Banker noted that Zimbabwe’s short-lived recovery of 2017 is now a distant memory. It said the government expects the economy to shrink by 6,5 percent in 2019.
“Such conditions present formidable obstacles for the country’s banks, but Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has still managed to post impressive results, which combined with its continued embrace of digital, sees it crowned as Bank of the Year 2019 for Zimbabwe,” wrote The Banker.
Stanbic Bank posted an impressive 42 percent growth in net profits during 2018, just two years after seeing its annual profits fall 11 percent. While asset growth has slowed, it still registered a 26 percent growth for the year, with a 22 percent rise in Tier 1 capital.
Return on equity increased to 26 percent, from 22 percent in 2017, while the lender’s non-performing loan ratio fell for the second consecutive year, hitting 1,7 percent in 2018. As with many other lenders across the continent, Stanbic has moved to grow its agent network as a means of deepening financial inclusion while keeping costs low.
Point-of-sale deployments grew by 59 percent in 2018, with revenues from digital channels growing by 77 percent. By the end of 2018, the bank had achieved a digitisation level of 94 percent. In May 2019, Stanbic launched remote account on-boarding, reducing the time taken to open an account from 14 minutes to just four.
“Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe is an authentic brand whose success is bolstered by exceptional corporate governance and its focus to deliver value to all stakeholders,” says Joshua Tapambgwa, chief executive at Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe.
“Innovation has been critical to ensure the institution thrives in an uncertain economic environment, coupled with the dedication and tenacity of all employees.”
The Bank of The Year Awards programme attracts the world’s leading financial institutions, which are judged on their ability to deliver returns, gain strategic advantage and serve their markets through setting new standards for their local industries, facilitated by technology or other innovative ways of expanding their business.
“Standard Bank’s South African and Africa-wide network is unmatched in its breadth, depth and robustness — and we work hard to ensure that all our capabilities are at the service of our clients, 24/7/365 days a year, via digital channels or in person,” says Standard Bank Group CE, Sim Tshabalala.
With the group’s presence in 20 countries across the continent, Tshabalala says the bank is equipped with deep insights to serve its markets with a combination of local expertise and global reach.
“It is an honour to be awarded for our work in serving Africa’s economies.”
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