Standard Bank outlines plans to become ‘a platform business’

 ·20 Aug 2021

Standard Bank Group is set to outline its ‘2025 Ambition’ – including its plans to ‘transform client experience’ and provide guidance on future financial targets.

The group’s leadership council will host a strategic update event via webcast for investors and analysts on Friday (20 August).

Standard Bank said it has made significant structural changes to serve clients better. This year, it is primarily organised into three client segments: Consumer and High Net Worth clients; Business and Commercial clients, and Wholesale clients.

Each of these segments is supported by its client solutions, engineering, and innovation capabilities.

“These shifts have allowed the group to realise a more integrated and seamless delivery of financial services to our diverse customer base, reduce time and cost to serve, and to innovate more quickly and efficiently,” it said.

The bank said it aims to achieve its 2025 Ambition of being a platform business through this operating structure.

“By building out from its solid foundation in traditional financial services, the group will meet its clients on the digital platforms where they are shopping, socialising and doing business.

“Standard Bank will accomplish this by driving or contributing to ecosystems – coordinated networks of participants and devices combining its own offerings with those of partners, enabling clients and producers to fulfil a broad range of needs seamlessly,” it said.

The bank said it has identified and prioritised 10 closely adjacent ecosystems to what it already does in traditional financial services.

It said it aims to narrow its focus and increase the probability of executing quickly:

  1. Transform client experience: Standard Bank said it will aim to understand its client’s needs, and then through human skill and digital capacities, help meet their needs and enable them to achieve their goals.
  2. Execute with excellence: Standard Bank said it will “deliver innovative and cost-effective products and services itself and in partnership with others”.
  3. Drive sustainable growth and value: Enabled by the first two strategic priorities, the group said it will deliver sustainable growth and value – to mean both ‘long-term’ and ‘environmentally and socially sustainable.’

Chief executive officer, Sim Tshabalala, said: “We have an almost 160-year history of serving clients and supporting economic development in Africa. Today, we are the largest financial services group on the continent, with powerful scale advantages and strengths.

“We will continue leveraging these advantages to defend and grow our current position in the market while accelerating toward our 2025 Ambition of becoming a client-centric, digitally-enabled platform business that can compete and win in a world where competitive lines are constantly redrawn, and constant innovation and reinvention is imperative to succeed.”

2025 financial targets

The bank said it has set bold financial targets in line with its 2025 Ambition. Highlights of the financial targets to be addressed during the strategic update include:

  • Revenue growth of 7% to 9% annually, with revenue from new business models growing more quickly than those from banking, investment, and insurance;
  • Credit loss ratio within the group’s through-the-cycle range of 70 and 100 basis points;
  • Cost-to-income ratio trending toward 50%;
  • Common equity tier 1 capital adequacy ratio above 11%; and
  • Return on equity target range of between 17% and 20%.

“The financial targets we’re outlining today are our most important goal, and as such, they are challenging but realistic. With a great team of highly motivated and skilled leaders and swift implementation of our revised strategy, I’m confident that we will deliver for our clients and shareholders,” said Tshabalala.

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