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    Client Focus Icon

    Our clients are at the centre of everything we do. We strive to meet their individual needs by seamlessly delivering holistic, relevant financial services offerings through the channels of their choice.

    What success looks like

    • We understand our clients and offer them solutions to support their goals.
    • We serve our clients quickly, efficiently, reliably and respectfully.
    • We earn and keep our clients’ trust.

    How we measure progress

    The group’s strategic focus areas of client centricity, digitisation and to be an integrated group, enable a singular focus on our clients: understanding their needs precisely and gaining, and keeping, their trust by consistently delivering complete solutions that help them to bank, earn, grow, insure, save and leave lasting legacies for future generations.

    Our focus on our clients anchors our efforts to build a digital bank, redesign our operating models, develop our people and shift our culture. In combination, these will underpin our long-term sustainable competitive advantage.

    We conduct internally facilitated client surveys appropriate for each business unit throughout the year, to understand how satisfied our clients are with our service and to improve on areas of specific concern.

    How we performed

    Our indicators

    Net promoter score (NPS) for PBB and Wealth

    NPS indicates how likely a retail client is to recommend Standard Bank for good service. It is calculated by subtracting detractors from promoters. This value can range from -100 if every client is a detractor to +100 if every client is a promoter. Any score above zero means there are more promoters than detractors.

    Client satisfaction index (CSI) for CIB

    CSI is a measure of the extent to which our corporate and investment clients are satisfied with the service CIB provides. It is calculated using weighted scores for different dimensions, from response times to the effectiveness of client relationship managers.

    2017: 66 | 2016: 53 | 2015: 58
    2017: 16 | 2016: 15 | 2015: 30
    2017: 7.8 | 2016: 7.8 | 2015: 7.6
    2017: 58 | 2016: 40 | 2015: 49
    2017: 43 | 2016: 44 | 2015: 49
    2017: 97 | 2016: 97 | 2015: 87
    Arrow right
    • Delivering consistently excellent client experiences.
    • Affordable and appropriate products and services.
    • Safety and security of client data and assets.
    • Assisting in times of financial distress.
    • Ability to compare products and prices.
    • Access to financial services and financial inclusion.
    • Responsible credit provision and the reduction of over-indebtedness in society.
    • Mortgage defaults and repossession in South Africa, including the communication process.
    • Leveraging our partnership and collaboration with ICBC.

    Raised by:

    Clients, legislators and national governments, political parties and civil society groups, investors and shareholders.

    Blue clients icon Blue home icon Blue governments icon Blue people icon
    • Deliver a compelling value proposition to our clients in an increasingly competitive environment.
    • Protect and maintain the integrity of client data.
    • Work with our clients to mitigate over-indebtedness, including sales-in-execution.
    2018 key priorities
    • Deepen existing client relationships in support of their growth journeys.
    • Leverage data and advanced analytics to gain deep client insights and provide personalised client engagements and solutions.
    • Continue to implement digitally enabled solutions that improve client experiences.
    • Provide our clients with improved client service and the choice to interact with us digitally or through our branch networks.
    • Continue to grow our market share and client bases in target segments, within our risk appetite.
    • Leverage the ICBC relationship to support the growth strategies of Chinese and other multinationals operating in Africa.
    • The client experience benefits and efficiencies of digital platforms require ongoing development and maintenance of IT assets to ensure stability and security, resulting in higher spending on IT.
    • Enhancing IT stability and cybersecurity as our client base grows and regulation increases requires greater investment in infrastructure and higher amortisation charges.
    • Improving the efficiency of our financial services processes by adopting new ways of working may incur unexpected costs.
    • Implementing robotics and automation reduces risk and increases capacity by reducing manual processes, but this increases the investment required to ensure that we comply with regulations and keep our clients safe from potential cyber threats.
    • Building new internal skills that include the application of design thinking and behavioural science is required to deliver enhanced client experiences, but will result in significant changes in the working environment for our people.


    A number of industry awards have recognised our focus on understanding the needs and expectations of our clients and providing innovative solutions. The most prominent awards include:

    Recognition for our achievements Icon

    Agusto & Co – 2018 Consumer Digital Banking Satisfaction Index

    • Best Digital Bank in Nigeria

    Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2018

    • Best Bank in South Africa
    • Best Bank in Uganda
    • Africa’s Best Bank for Wealth Management

    Financial Times Awards 2018

    • Best Bank in Zambia

    Global Finance Magazine Awards 2018

    • Best Bank in Africa
    • Best Bank in Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda
    • Safest Bank in Africa (criteria included compliance, capital adequacy and institutional integrity)
    • Safest Bank in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda
    • Best Private Bank in Africa

    HiPiPo Digital Impact Awards

    • Best Brand on Social Media
    • Best Banking App
    • Best Card Payment Enabler

    Intellidex/SA’s Top Stockbrokers South Africa Top Private Bank and Wealth Manager Awards 2018

    • Top Stockbroker of the Year
    • South Africa’s Top Private Banker of the year

    PWM/The Banker Global Private Banking Awards 2018

    • Best Private Bank in Africa for Customer Service
    • Best Private Bank in Nigeria

    The Banker Bank of the Year

    • Bank of the Year in Africa
    • Bank of the Year in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana
    Doing the right business the right way Icon

    Understanding our clients

    Our on-the-ground presence in 20 countries and client-focused approach of our people across Africa, connected by our enhanced IT platforms, supports our large, diverse client base. As we become more digitised and integrated, we are better able to understand our client’s financial services needs and match them with personalised experiences and solutions. We have made progress in improving service delivery across multiple channels, including faster account origination and online lending.


    • Improved client service experience and complaint resolution process reflected in higher client satisfaction scores and fewer complaints.
    • Embedded multidisciplinary client service, product, risk and IT teams embedded in operations to map, design and simplify client experiences.
    • Re-engineered and digitised back-end processes to streamline and enhance them by automating repetitive tasks and reassigning employees to focus on client-facing value-adding tasks.
    • Successfully completed the migration of all clients to the new online banking platform, creating a better client experience by removing friction.
    • Implemented changes in client onboarding to support cross-selling of products and services, and in lending and cash solutions to improve turnaround time and client experience.

    ACHIEVED IN 2018

    • Understanding individual client complaints and finding appropriate solutions has reduced the number of complaints to the Banking Ombudsman in South Africa from 1  670 in 2017 to 1 203 in 2018.
    • We improved the complaints management process in our insurance claims fulfilment business and strengthened its focus on client engagement, resulting in a decline in complaints.
    • Melville Douglas continued to deliver superior investment performance with Global Funds in the top quartile and Domestic Funds in the second quartile and both above benchmark and ahead of peer groups.
    • We responded to client dissatisfaction with our manual corporate lending process by automating it to improve end-to-end client experience, reducing the turnaround time significantly.
    • We processed approximately 2 400 complex monthly cross-border transactions from South Africa using intelligent automation.

    Innovative Digital Capabilities - SHYFT

    SHYFT provides a digital wallet that allows clients to transact in US dollars, euros, pounds and Australian dollars directly from their phone – simply, conveniently and safely.

    Recognised globally and locally for innovation, SHYFT is a highly competitive offering – providing a single card multicurrency foreign exchange mobile solution, giving our clients complete control of their foreign exchange management.

    In 2018, almost 16 000 registered users (2017: 12 300) traded foreign currency of R1.2 billion in around 56 000 trades and made almost 12 500 foreign currency payments.


    Since 2016, we have evolved from testing new ways of working to implementing client labs that deliver integrated client solutions.

    Underpinning this process is an IT operating model in which technical teams (developers and testers) form part of multidisciplinary teams that include client service teams, risk and product teams to improve client experiences. Together, they map and simplify the design of business and IT processes to deliver innovative, digitally enabled, cost-effective solutions that generate personalised offers and support the servicing of client ecosystems.

    In PBB, improved NPS scores and fewer complaints to the Banking Ombudsman can be attributed to:

    • Improved decentralised South African operating structure in which client-facing teams are upskilled and empowered to provide the most relevant solutions based on an individual client’s needs and to make decisions that support consistently excellent client service across all touch points.
    • End-to-end digitisation of processes and services to remove friction in client interactions and deliver complete solutions.
    • New digital capabilities introduced, including Moby Banker, virtual card, Samsung tap to pay, real-time clearing and USSD wallet.
    • Enhanced digital functionality and systems stability in all Africa Regions countries served by PBB and Wealth, which supported the significant improvement in client satisfaction.
    • Improved digital security capabilities which have reduced digital fraud losses.
    • Total active clients in Africa Regions grew by 11%, with strong growth in Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, eSwatini and Zimbabwe.

    Client-led growth in income and lower credit impairment charges, most notably in Africa Regions, supported PBB’s 10% growth in earnings.

    In an economically constrained and competitive South African market, we kept our active PBB client base stable at 8.1 million and achieved encouraging growth of 1% in our targeted segments.

    In Africa Regions, strong growth in personal unsecured and business loans and client deposits reflected new client acquisition in our target markets, underpinned by digital solutions and strong trade-related revenue in business banking.

    The group supports the need for mechanisms to assist specific client groups to overcome their distressed positions and facilitate their rehabilitation, and in South Africa we participate in the parliamentary process regarding the Credit Amendment Bill.

    We have reviewed our internal processes for sales-in-execution (SIE). Our investigations and the cases we reviewed showed that:

    • The group proceeded to SIE only when alternative methods to remedy a client’s distressed financial state were unsuccessful.
    • There were numerous engagements with clients to try to find ways to remedy their financial distress.
    • In most cases, the length of time between a customer’s first default and a SIE was several years.

    We are committed to ongoing dialogue with government and political and civil society organisations, including supporting the development of programmes to educate clients on bond repayments and their contractual rights and obligations.

    We support financial inclusion through a range of digital products and services, some of which are accessible without a bank account. Products such as Instant Money, SlydePay, SnapScan, Shyft, and Masterpass offer users greater convenience and cheaper transaction rates than at a branch or ATM, and are safe and secure.

    In most African countries of operation, clients can make cardless cash deposits at ATMs to any Standard Bank account. Other solutions include the digital payment of school fees and targeted remittance products.

    Enterprise Direct is a digital channel that provides relationship management services to SMEs across PBB Africa Regions, and is staffed with enterprise bankers with the necessary expertise to manage transactions and client queries. The success of Enterprise Direct as a distribution model is reflected in the improvement in NPS scores and the increase in transactions through Enterprise Direct.

    PBB has 34% of the residential home loan market share in South Africa with a loan book of around R343 billion. During 2018, 42 000 mortgage loans were registered in South Africa. Over the past year, affordable housing loans granted to clients that earn a gross monthly income between R3 500 and R23 300 increased by 30.7%.

    Wealth improved its client service by:

    • Focusing on embedding our ‘before the sun sets’ client engagement philosophy and driving thoughtfulness and empathy in employee interactions with clients.
    • Creating a cultural shift with leadership taking ownership of all complaints, always displaying thoughtfulness and empathy in our dealings with our clients.
    • Completing a process to clarify and enhance organisational structure and core business lines to optimise collaboration and efficiencies both within Wealth and the rest of the group. Furthermore, it will enable us to develop an integrated and comprehensive client value proposition.
    • Melville Douglas continues to deliver outstanding client value, with global funds in the top quartile and domestic funds in the second quartile and both above peer benchmarks.
    • Leveraging our relationship with CIB, we have developed client ecosystems that deliver wealth solutions to the staff of multinational corporations and assist them to achieve their goals.
    • Further enhancements to the Wealth International mobile app, which supports the viewing of and transacting on offshore accounts, including cross-border payments and the ability to activate debit cards on the app.

    Wealth grew its domestic and international high net worth client base by 14% and its assets under management by 8%. Wealth made good progress in diversifying its Africa Regions businesses. Significant awards recognised Wealth’s competitive investment performance, including some previously dominated by competitors.


    Our Leadership and Wealth Academies provide advice on financial planning and investment, with a focus on women and young leaders of the future.

    In 2018, we hosted our first Wealth Academies women’s series for leaders from Standard Bank and key clients. The event focused on increasing the leadership impact of women and supporting their personal financial journeys.

    Our Junior Leaders (aged 10 – 12), Young Leaders (aged 13 – 17) and Future Leaders (aged 18 – 24) academies in South Africa, Kenya and the UK focus on developing the next generation of leaders by advising them on financial planning, investments, social entrepreneurship and self-leadership. The academies provide an invaluable opportunity to engage with our clients and their families. 175 young people attended our academies in 2018.

    In CIB, our focus on developing proactive client partnerships that deliver relevant solutions across sectors, regions and products supported an improved CSI score. This was largely attributable to the high ratings of client relationship managers who represent the singular face of the group, understanding their clients’ needs and challenges, clearing obstacles and delivering innovative solutions effectively. Their ratings were higher than the average CSI score, even in instances where there were service delivery challenges – because they overcame these challenges for their clients. CIB’s client relationship strategy aims to build a strong and diversified franchise that also impacts positively on greater diversification and growth in African economies.

    In 2018, CIB completed several landmark transactions across our African markets, including an increase in energy and infrastructure-related deals, and managed the full range of routine financial services, including cross-border trade. These transactions include:

    South Africa Round 4 REIPPP

    We acted as the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and hedge provider for six of the 27 projects which signed power purchase agreements with Eskom as part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). The projects which have closed (Sirius, Dyasons Klip 1 and Klip 2 solar farms in the Northern Cape and Wesley-Ciskei wind farm in the Eastern Cape) represent a combined investment of R6.6 billion in South Africa’s renewables sector. Besides supporting the growth of domestic renewables capability, this investment stimulates economic activity in marginalised rural areas.


    We jointly funded R1.7 billion of the South African National Taxi Council’s acquisition of 25% of SA Taxi. This transformational transaction serves to formalise an informal industry comprised of small and medium enterprises, and will facilitate the equitable distribution of the value generated in the minibus taxi industry verticals to all minibus taxi industry participants.


    We acted as lead arranger, underwriter and book runner in Anglo American’s acquisition of high quality, well-established South African coal assets strategically important to Eskom’s base load power generation fleet. We partnered with Seriti, a broad-based, black-controlled South African mining company with experience in developing and operating large coal mines in South Africa. This transaction is central to South Africa’s energy security and supports the competitiveness and inclusive growth of the domestic economy.

    Dangote Cement PLC

    We acted as sole arranger and issuing, calculation and payment agent for a commercial paper (CP) issuance, under its newly established NGN150 billion CP programme, representing the largest CP issuance by a Nigerian company.

    China Development Bank

    We signed a USD500 million loan facility with China Development Bank at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. The loan facility spans seven years and is earmarked for lending to our qualifying small and medium enterprise clients, many of whom want to export to China. This reflects our commitment to building a bank for African entrepreneurs.

    Overseas Private Investment Corporation

    We partnered with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Government’s development finance institution, and Botswana Finance LLC, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International, to assist Botswana in diversifying its economy, developing its financial sector and providing local companies with access to funding. The loan guarantee will support lending to diamond manufacturers and polishing companies, while sharing credit risk.

    China Gezhouba Group Company Limited

    We issued a bank guarantee on the back of a counter guarantee from Agricultural Bank of China, for approximately USD73 million. The guarantee is for the execution of Thwake multipurpose water development programme, which will supply dam water for domestic, livestock, irrigation, hydropower and industrial purposes in Kenya.


    We raised EUR8 million of new equity for M-BIRR, Ethiopia’s leading mobile money technology service provider. As exclusive financial adviser, we introduced the European Investment Bank and the German Investment and Development Corporation. This deal will facilitate M-BIRR’s roll out across the country, driving economic activity and facilitating the distribution of aid funds to over two million people via the M-BIRR platform.

    CIB made further progress in improving client experience by:

    • Successfully testing and launching a digital account opening solution for clients.
    • Transforming the corporate lending process and streamlining end-to-end client experiences through digitisation and improved IT stability.
    • Migration of clients onto Business Online (BOL) and automating high volume online call centre queries. BOL provides a single online channel that allows all domestic, regional and multinational clients to view and transact across all their accounts and transactional products, and across their accounts in the countries in which the group operates. BOL uptake has been extremely positive, with an annual compound transaction growth rate of over 30%.
    • Adopting intelligent automation to improve the fulfilment of international payments.

    Diversified and sustainable revenue was driven by the financial institution sector due to our focused effort to grow our insurance client base. The industrial sector growth was driven by an increase in key client deals. The power and infrastructure sector improved due to increased renewable investment. Other sectors, including telecommunication and media, and real estate have slowed down due to increased competition and lower levels of client activity.

    Multinationals and large domestic clients continue to drive client activity, contributing to 80% of revenues. Multinational corporates support revenue growth due to their resilience through economic cycles.

    Our competitive advantage is premised on our extensive knowledge of our markets, gained from our on-the-ground presence and deep understanding of our clients’ business. This allows us to respond nimbly to both risk and opportunity while allocating resources to revenue generating opportunities within our established risk appetite. On this basis, we have achieved leading positions in corporate loans, deposits and trading, together with sustained growth in our target client segments.

    Our strategic partnership with ICBC continues to offer significant opportunities. Since 2008, we have provided financing of approximately USD8.5 billion for around 40 projects involving Chinese companies, enabling leveraged investment of more than USD30 billion in Africa.

    The group has opened permanent Africa-China banking centres in key business hubs to support Chinese speaking businesses operating in Africa and growth in Africa-China trade. In 2018, we piloted a Chinese language internet banking site in Angola and are looking to extend it across our Africa Regions footprint.


    ICBC was instrumental in us achieving a major milestone in our relationship with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), one of the three oil majors in China and one of the largest in the world. CNPC is also the majority shareholder of South Sudan-based joint operation oil company Dar Petroleum (DPOC), which had a long history of operations in Sudan and South Sudan. When DPOC’s house bank exited South Sudan two years ago, we acquired its onshore account in Juba and offshore in Kenya. This provided a good foundation for our cooperation with CNPC. Together with ICBC, we actively engaged with CNPC to fulfil its offshore account requirements through Stanbic Kenya. We expect to capture additional flow and generate significant TPS and foreign exchange business. This demonstrates our ability to connect and coordinate business between China and Africa.

    Leveraging Technology Icon

    Leveraging technology

    The group’s transformation into a client-centric, digital and integrated financial services organisation is heavily reliant on technology. Digitisation has had a significant impact in improving client experience, and the pace at which our business units and clients are leveraging technology continues to gain momentum. Having completed the transformation of our core banking platforms, we have moved our focus to simplifying our IT estate and leveraging our data while continuing to deliver an ‘always on, always secure’ client experience.


    • Mobile and internet banking is available in all countries in which PBB operates.
    • Most of CIB’s country operations have been migrated onto the BOL platform, and the BOL mobile application was launched. South Africa and Namibia will be migrated onto BOL in 2019.
    • Improved and expanded digital functionality and products available on our digital platforms.
    • Launched the GoalTracker goals-based investment tool.
    • Launched an innovative short-term insurance solution, our ‘Liberty Short’ chatbot, to provide an intuitive capability for clients to explore motor vehicle and personal lines insurance quotes with immediate issuing of selected policies.
    • Implemented initiatives to leverage client ecosystems and use data as a strategic asset across the group.
    • Leveraged robotics to automate and speed up repetitive processes.
    • Partnered with fintechs to access scarce skills and drive innovative developments and opportunities.

    ACHIEVED IN 2018

    • In South Africa, active mobile banking users grew by 9%, mobile banking transaction volumes grew by 50%, while those in physical channels declined by 13%.
    • We reviewed branch transaction data and identified nine customer features which underpin 80% of branch transactions. These are now in the process of being fully automated.
    • Faster delivery of new features on our mobile banking app is enabling us to update the app every four to six weeks on Android and iOS devices in 12 countries, all at the same time.
    • We built a VAF verification bot that reduced client waiting time from two days to 40 minutes.
    • Our Moonshots division focuses on launching new disruptive financial services businesses in African markets. During the year, the division facilitated our new partnership with Founders Factory, a leading tech start-up accelerator and incubator, which will grow 100 disruptive tech start-ups over the next five years, enabling African companies to innovate and digitise for African needs.

    Our IT strategy is aligned to the group’s three focus areas of client centricity, digitisation and to be an integrated group. To deliver these, we must ensure that:

    • We offer banking that is always on and always secure.
    • Our processes are streamlined.
    • We use emerging technology like data analytics, AI and robotics.
    • Our people are equipped with the appropriate skills.
    Client Centricity Icon


    Digitisation Icon


    Integrated Group Icon


    We achieved the following milestones in the replacement of our core banking backbone:

    • Closed the SAP core banking in South Africa and Finacle core banking in Africa Regions implementation.
    • Delivered modernised, simplified and standardised core banking platforms across the group.
    • Shifted to a ‘business-as-usual’ focus on maintaining and extracting value from the new platforms.

    The benefits of moving from the old to the new platforms are multi-faceted and lie largely in the modular nature of the platform which has clear integration abilities.


    Branch-centric, face-to-face interaction model

    Bank built around products

    Over 40 year old systems, mainly running batch processes

    Lack of agility in adapting to change with manual, paper intensive processes

    Inability to easily interface with new or external systems

    Costly infrastructure that is difficult to support and maintain


    All products and services online and on mobile with self-service platforms available 24/7

    Integrated offering to access all services built for clients

    Modern platforms with real-time processing and analysis

    Greater standardisation, agility and simplicity with automated, digitised processes

    Modular systems with clear integration paths

    Standardised building blocks which can be reused

    Always on Icon
    Anywhere, anytime, always secure, always on
    Peer to Peer Icon
    Clients banking on mobile
    services and transactions mobile and online
    Network clients Icon
    Clients want superior multi‑channel delivery
    Instant Gratification Icon
    Instant gratification
    Seamless Payments and money transfers Icon
    Seamless payments and money transfers
    New Social Norms Icon
    New social norms
    Mobi clients Icon
    Peer-2-peer business models and co-creation

    Our IT transformation journey has laid a solid foundation for client service improvements...

    Decommissioned 128  applications, 3  124  servers, 476  databases and 25   IT  solutions.

    Decommissioned database Icon

    Time to market improved by more than 50% in some areas.

    New ways of working have increased predictable delivery.

    [email protected] approach recognised as best practice.

    Improved ranking in Consulta’s independent South African customer satisfaction index, which provides a national benchmark of customer satisfaction in products and services available to household consumers, from 71.9 to 75.2, moving closer to the industry average of 77.

    IT delivery Icon

    Increased efficiencies in IT delivery, including more disciplined management of IT costs with a shift to in-house, self-managed teams.

    Instant MoneyTM

    Instant Money is a safe, affordable and reliable solution that allows individuals and businesses to make easy payments directly to a recipient’s cell phone number. Instant Money can be sent from any of Standard Bank’s channels, as well as a number of participating retailers, proving how digital solutions can be easily leveraged. Although live since 2008, impressive year-on-year growth has been achieved over the last three years.

    Instant Money has hit send volumes of two million vouchers per month since September 2018 as more people turn to the convenience of sending money from anywhere in South Africa to another person in need of instant cash.

    Instant Money has also extended beyond South Africa’s borders, due to a clear need for easy and simple remittance across the continent, leading to the development and rollout of Instant Money Africa Regions to eight African countries (Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and eSwatini), with further expansion planned in 2019.

    ...and is delivering solutions for our clients:

    Universal SBG mobile platform rolled out to South Africa, Africa Regions, Isle of Man and Jersey.
    BOL integration into core platforms of financial institutions and client payment platforms enabling DebiCheck industry initiative in South Africa. DebiCheck allows clients to approve debit orders in their accounts.
    Seamless integration with companion apps, including Online Share Trading and Shyft online foreign exchange platform.
    Sino-Connect offering on BOL allows Chinese-based corporates to manage their cash operations for treasuries domiciled in African countries.
    Single sign on with single SBG digital ID and biometrics to access all relevant group solutions from PBB, CIB, Wealth and Liberty.
    Continuous BOL functionality enhancements, BOL mobile app, ‘Request for Quote’ foreign exchange payments capability, single enterprise resource planning integration to initiate payments and collections across multiple countries.
    Leader in digital engagement (log-on and transaction frequency higher than South African average), with more than five million monthly transactions on mobile devices.
    eMarket Trader provides a single dealer platform at various levels of evolution and is live in 16 countries across 70 global currencies.

    We prioritise initiatives that improve client experience and product functionality. For example, in response to client feedback on our lending process, we initiated digital lending programmes for corporate clients to reduce the lending process cycle time and provide clients with a transparent, self-service digital experience. We also digitised the process for simple unsecured retail lending to existing clients.

    Growth in the number of active mobile banking users and a corresponding decline in transactions performed on physical channels confirms increasing client preference for digital channels as they are more convenient and cost effective. A key benefit of digital delivery is that it allows the bundling of relevant products and services online as clients and client service teams are no longer constrained by physical branches.

    While we have introduced digital branches where our people service clients with Enterprise Direct, Internet Banking, BOL, and the SBG app, we continue to offer our clients the choice of interacting with us through our physical branch networks. We recognise that many of our clients who have adopted digital banking also require human interaction with our people from time to time and we equip our people to build and maintain client relationships.

    Keeping our clients’ assets safe in a digital era is integral to the overall client experience.


    We have introduced a technology solution to improve our services to clients in our branches by automating certain processes. Moby Banker offers services normally provided by tellers and enquiry staff in our branches, thereby reducing waiting times, the number of forms to be filled in and speeding up transaction time. Available in five of our countries, Moby Banker has reduced transaction processing time by 40% and a 37% improvement in total teller capacity. Moby Banker also offers a solution to bank clients in more remote areas as outlying branches are closed and networks consolidated.

    Transforming our business Icon

    Transforming our business

    The diversity of our financial services offerings is a powerful advantage. Similarly, our presence across Africa and in key financial centres around the world provides our clients with access to international markets and capital, supporting our ability to drive Africa’s growth and development. Changes in organisational design are driving greater integration across geographies and financial offerings, be they retail, investment banking, wealth management or insurance, and delivering greater value.


    • Joint steering committee established to drive collaboration, integrated client experiences and ecosystem opportunities.
    • Enhanced collaboration between PBB, CIB, Wealth, Liberty and ICBC is driving cross-selling and cost efficiencies, while delivering complete solutions to individual clients.
    • Knowledge sharing is contributing to growth in client acquisition.
    • Strengthened collaboration with Liberty is resulting in alignment of financial targets.

    ACHIEVED IN 2018

    • By collaborating and offering complete card solutions, we retained existing clients and won valuable new clients, such as Dischem.
    • Our ability to provide an integrated solution across different markets secured DHL as a transactional banking client in eight countries. Similarly, the relationship established during our investment banking work with Total on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation deal resulted in opportunities to bank Total in three other countries in Africa Regions.
    • Liberty and Wealth launched a joint high net worth proposition and an innovative short-term insurance initiative.
    • By leveraging CIB’s client relationships. Wealth have developed client ecosystems which deliver wealth solutions to the staff of multinational corporations and support them in achieving their goals.
    • Delivering integrated client solutions, including a comprehensive home services offering covering home loans, life cover through Liberty, short-term insurance through Wealth and personal lending facilities to pay home purchase expenses.

    Our UCount reward programme supports client acquisition, retention and entrenchment, underpinned by a rich client value proposition.

    In 2018, UCount Rewards ranked first in the independent Tritech Media 2018 loyalty programme member engagement survey of industry reward programmes for having the greatest impact on positive behaviour change among clients in the financial services industry.

    During 2018, clients registered with UCount Rewards increased by 14% with over 862 000 clients on the programme.

    Each of our businesses plays a clearly defined role in achieving the group’s vision to become the leading integrated financial services organisation in, for and across Africa. Collaboration across the group creates opportunities to leverage the benefits of an integrated financial services organisation for client acquisition, cross-selling and driving cost efficiencies by leveraging economies of scale.

    Our comprehensive wealth offerings within the group provide significant opportunities for integration. This extends to our partnership with Liberty, which provides a range of long-term insurance products, investment products and transactional solutions developed and administered by Liberty and STANLIB. These offerings are distributed through PBB’s and CIB’s distribution and advisory channels, with an extensive network of approximately 4 000 branch sales employees across South Africa and coverage across our footprint in Africa.

    An engagement model was established to drive collaboration and realise cross-selling opportunities within client ecosystems. A joint steering committee, with representatives from each of the business units, identifies, assesses and implements these opportunities.

    Key areas of collaboration include:

    • BOL, a digital channel used by business and commercial clients.
    • Credit ratings for commercial banking clients have been integrated with CIB’s loan origination tool to streamline the lending process.
    • Increased collaboration with Liberty is enabling cross-selling of Liberty products to our banking clients, and banking products to Liberty clients.
    • Collaboration with PBB and Wealth to build client solutions using multi-skilled, integrated client service teams.

    Our strategic partnership with ICBC assists us in servicing the needs of clients operating within the Africa-China corridor. We are building our capacity of Chinese speaking relationship managers in each of our markets in Africa Regions.

    Our enterprise technology is a critical enabler of integrated financial services solutions. We have built enterprise assets that can be leveraged across business units and functions, with modernised IT platforms enabling multidisciplinary operational teams to create innovative digital platforms, whose functionality is continually improved.

    We have achieved several significant IT milestones in support of this strategic focus area, including:

    • Implementing architecture roadmaps to facilitate simplification.
    • Installing fibre to 457 group offices and branches to support digital banking.
    • Implementing cloud technology and training IT architects in its use.
    • Leveraging emerging technology such as blockchain to remove boundaries between functions and business units.


    The achievement of sustainable future growth will be driven by our ability to maintain the ongoing support of our clients in a competitive financial services environment.

    The performance of the group in 2018 has demonstrated that our client-centric strategy is enabling us to retain and acquire clients in our target segments. We will continue responding to the evolving needs of our clients, delivering what matters most to them and supporting their growth journeys.

    Our client focus in 2019 will be guided by the group’s medium-term priorities:

    • Understand our clients better to deliver exceptional client experiences.
    • Offering clients access to relevant products across digital channels of their choice.
    • Accelerate digital adoption by delivering a stable mobile platform with additional features.
    • Implement identified solutions to improve client experiences.
    • Leverage data and analytics to proactively deliver personalised client offerings.
    • Extend Enterprise Direct for small businesses into South Africa.
    • Continue to roll out the ecosystems approach in South Africa.

    While never losing focus on immediate objectives:

    • Always on, always secure
    • Brilliant basics front to back
    • Doing the right business the right way