Tuesday, July 5, 2022

StanChart strengthens customer offerings for SMEs

With the aim of meeting the changing needs of the fast growing Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) segment in the country, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana launched its strengthened SME offerings on Thursday.

The Bank CEO, Moatlhodi Lekaukau, spoke about the contribution of SMEs to the development and future of Botswana, which he said is significant. He added that drawing on a deep pool of global experience, Standard Chartered is positioned to assist Botswana’s SME sector with an intuitive and innovative service offering.

“Our plan is to double the size of the SME sector with products and solutions to the market with a long term relationship with both new and old customers,” said Lekaukau.

He emphasized that the bank is focused on innovating the sector with the experience of over 150 years of existence as well as large international networks in more than 70 countries in the world. 

Lekaukau also pointed out the bank is ready to transform small business to large businesses with the bank products and solutions.

 Global Head SME Banking, Tim Hinton, pointed out that the SME segment has grown at almost twice the rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most markets, adding that it is also expected to grow at 10 -12 percent annually in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  Hinton further stated that in light of the changing needs of SMEs and their growing importance in the economy, the bank has strengthened the SME customer offerings.

“Our ambition is to be the leading international bank for SMEs, building the segment into a multi-billion dollar business over the next two to three years,” he said.

Hinton also emphasized that their strategy is underpinned by focusing on customer’s needs, and investing in the right people, solutions and infrastructure. He revealed that the SMEs can now access comprehensive and customized solutions that traditionally were limited to Multinational Corporation.

“In order to better understand the needs, our SME customers, the bank provides dedicated relationship managers supported by a team of specialists,” said Hinton.

He further pointed out that the sector is one of the largest areas of employment creation and added that SMEs businesses are changing very fast in the area of sales, finance, human resources and procurement.

“We are excited about the online channel we long introduced which is also moving very fast in expansion. Internationalization is also a key factor in our foot prints,” he stated.

The General Manager SME Banking, Motlalepula Mpho, shared the same sentiments that the bank recognizes the SMEs’ need of peace of mind and confidence instilled by a dependable support system. She noted that the SMEs solutions of convenience encompass working capital, business expansion, business protection and also yield enhancement.

“We have market leading solutions to facilitate smooth cash flow to maximize its working capital efficiency. We trade in over 20 currencies including Chinese Yuan,” said Mpho.

She added that in order to turn business risks into profit, it is important to incorporate the risk management strategies into the business plan.

Mpho said that the bank products solutions and global expertise in the SME segment position Standard Chartered as one of the leading financial institutions for SMEs in the country.

“Our revamped online platform, Straight2Bank, is distinctively tailored to the needs of SMEs, offering capabilities like international money transfers in multiple currencies,” she said.

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