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  • About this report

    Our integrated report provides a holistic and material assessment of the group’s ability to create value in the short, medium and long term.

    Reporting scope and boundary

    This report covers the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018 and includes material issues up to the date of board approval on 6 March 2019. This report is prepared in accordance with the IIRC’s <IR> Framework, together with other applicable frameworks, including the JSE Listings Requirements and the King Code.

    This report explains our dependence and impact on the forms of capital, defined in the <IR> Framework, that are fundamental to achieving the performance expectations related to our vision in the medium term. In this regard, we use terms that stay true to the articulation of the group strategy and definition of value, which is described as the financial outcomes and SEE impacts we aim to achieve through the careful management of our strategic value drivers. The six capitals of the <IR> Framework are implicit in the value drivers that underpin our strategy and in our material issues. The boundary of this report therefore extends to our relationships outside the organisation that affect our ability to create value over time.

    Financial information has been prepared on an IFRS basis, unless otherwise specified. Material non-financial information that has a significant influence on our ability to create value is included where relevant. Any restatements of comparable information are noted.

    Operating businesses’ boundary

    This report focuses on the group’s banking activities, which include the group’s businesses within Personal & Business Banking (PBB) and Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB), as well as our Wealth strategy. Liberty, a subsidiary, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Argentina and ICBC Standard Bank Plc (ICBCS), as associates, are included in this report where they are relevant to the group’s strategic value drivers, but are not included in the metrics that relate specifically to our banking activities.

    Metrics boundary

    Unless otherwise indicated, all data has been reported according to the group’s banking activities’ boundary.

    indicates where information is specific to our South African banking operations only.
    indicates where Liberty is included in group data.


    Our material issues are those that matter most to our key stakeholders and that have an impact on our ability to create value. An issue is considered to be material if it has the potential to substantially impact on our commercial viability, our social relevance and the quality of relationships with our stakeholders. Our material issues are informed by the expectations of our stakeholders, and the economic, social and environmental context in which we operate.

    Our material issues encompass the risks and opportunities associated with our five strategic value drivers – client focus, employee engagement and risk and conduct, which determine our financial outcomes and our SEE impact. While our material issues have evolved in response to changes in our operating environment and stakeholder expectations, the broad themes tend to be relatively stable. We view the materiality determination process as a business tool that facilitates integrated thinking.

    How we determined our material issues

    • Engaged with internal and external stakeholders to generate a list of material issues, categorised by value driver, and supplemented by a review of internal reports, emerging risks and strategic priorities, and media coverage.
    • Engaged with internal stakeholders to test the completeness of the list of material issues and define priorities.
    • Discussion with group executive committee members to develop a final list of material issues.
    • The group social and ethics committee reviewed and approved the final material issues.

    Combined assurance

    The group applies a combined assurance model to assess and assure aspects of its operations, including the internal controls associated with elements of external reporting. Combined assurance incorporates and optimises all assurance services and risk functions to enable an effective control environment and support the integrity of information used in decision-making and reporting. The group applies the three lines of defence model to identify, monitor and manage risk, promoting transparency, accountability and consistency through the clear identification and segregation of roles to enable a coordinated approach to assurance.

    Interviews with senior leadership, together with internal sources of information and relevant external research reports, have been used to prepare this report. An internal combined assurance review of the internal controls applied to the information gathering process was performed, together with reviews by management, and our compliance and internal audit functions to ensure the accuracy of our reporting.

    While this report is not audited, it contains certain information that has been extracted from the audited consolidated annual financial statements, on which an unmodified audit opinion has been expressed by the group’s external auditors, KPMG Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., and from the group’s Reporting to society, on which assurance on selected information has been provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.

    Read more in our annual integrated report 2018

    Responding to our stakeholders

    Effective stakeholder engagement is essential to achieving our purpose. It maintains and strengthens our legitimacy and social licence to operate, builds trust and enhances our reputation as a socially relevant and responsible corporate citizen.

    Our stakeholders are those individuals, groups and organisations that materially affect or could be materially affected by our strategy execution and how we conduct our business activities. They provide us with the resources we need to achieve our strategy and influence the environment in which we operate our business and confer legitimacy on our activities.

    We categorise our stakeholders into two primary groups:

    • Stakeholders with whom we have a direct, contractual relationship – our clients, our people, our partners, our suppliers and our investors.
    • Stakeholders with an indirect relationship with the group but with a stake in our performance – civil society organisations, professional bodies, regulators, policymakers, academia, legislators, the diplomatic community, political parties, special interest and advocacy groups, analysts, researchers and think tanks, the media, and non-governmental organisations.

    Read more in our annual integrated report 2018

    Read more in our reporting to society 2018

    We regularly engage with our stakeholders through a decentralised stakeholder engagement approach and use various forums and mechanisms appropriate to the needs of each stakeholder group. The board has overall responsibility for the oversight of stakeholder engagement and has delegated its oversight function to the group social and ethics committee. During the year, the group social and ethics committee approved the group’s stakeholder engagement principles, which provide guidelines for engagement across our operations.

    The key concerns of relevant stakeholders and related material issues are listed and answered in the reviews of our strategic value drivers.

    Read more on client focus

    Statement of the board of the Standard Bank Group Limited

    Group executive committee members have approved the annual integrated report’s content, and the group audit committee reviewed and recommended the report to the board of directors for approval.

    The board acknowledges its responsibility to ensure the integrity of the report and has applied its collective mind to the preparation and presentation of the integrated report. The board is of the opinion that the report is materially presented in accordance with the Framework in that it addresses all material issues that have a bearing on the group’s capacity to create value over the short, medium and long term.

    The report was unanimously approved by the board on 6 March 2019 and is signed on its behalf by:

    Thulani Gcabashe

    Sim Tshabalala
    Group chief executive