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Standard Bank Group ranked top empowerment company in South Africa
4 May 2011

Standard Bank Group (SBG) has been ranked as the top empowerment company in South Africa by Empowerdex, one of the country's leading empowerment verification agencies. Standard Bank Group achieved an overall BEE rating of 92.83%. 

Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive of Standard Bank Group's operations in South Africa, says: "This is a significant achievement and is a culmination of years of hard work by thousands of people at Standard Bank Group. The active transformation philosophy and strategy that Standard Bank has been pursuing for several years is having a meaningful impact." 

Mr Tshabalala says that transformation is a social and economic imperative for South Africa and the country's long-term future depended on getting this right. Empowerment and transformation contributed to the national imperative of creating jobs and achieving the vision of a better life for all. 

"Standard Bank is nearly 150 years old. We are inextricably intertwined with South African society. We hope and expect to be around for at least another 150 years - which is precisely why we must transform. We need to stay relevant, and we need to be sustainable." 

These are the key tenets of Standard Bank Group's transformation philosophy:

  • Its attitude and strategy towards achieving meaningful transformation cannot belimited only to meeting compliance targets.
  • It aims to embed in the culture of the group a real sense of why transformation is important and how it makes commercial sense.
  • Standard Bank Group understands that banks have a tremendous impact on transformation by mobilising money from excess units in the economy (savers), and lending it to deficit units in the economy (borrowers). Banks' lending and payments services can have powerful transformative effects by democratising access to finance and by ensuring that historically disadvantaged people have access to the financial services they need. There is simply no way that transformation can be achieved in South Africa without the finance and intermediation provided by banks.
  • Real transformation has commercial value. It contributes to a healthier and moresustainable pattern of growth and it bolsters stability. This, in turn, positively affects the country's credit ratings and the perceptions of international investors. Getting transformation right will therefore help to lower the cost of finance and of equity.
  • Gender and racial diversity create an inclusive and creative culture, improving the quality of Standard Bank Group's business decisions and opening up new markets.

  • "For all these reasons, we are very serious about transformation and intend to accelerate our efforts. Transformation goes well beyond the numbers and we aim to create a culture that embraces openness, fairness and diversity. We want this culture to be a tangible, everyday reality for our staff, clients, stakeholders and the communities we serve," says Mr Tshabalala. 

    As a result of this philosophy, strategy and process, Standard Bank has seen some tremendous successes in the bank. Areas that have really improved its empowerment score include preferential procurement, skills development and employment equity, particularly in junior and middle management. 

    "We will strive to keep up the momentum of transformation by continuing to live and execute this philosophy and strategy. We firmly believe that successful transformation makes us more competitive. Accordingly, we plan to continue working hard in all of the major pillars of transformation, namelyEmployment Equity; Preferential Procurement; Enterprise Development; SkillsDevelopment; AgriBEE; and Inclusive Banking," says Mr Tshabalala.

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