STANDARD Chartered Bank Zimbabwe recently won two international awards for best foreign bank in Zimbabwe from EMEA Finance and best bank in Zimbabwe 2012 from The Banker Magazine.
By Business Reporter
Regarded as the industry’s standard for banking excellence, both The Banker Magazine Awards and the EMEA Finance Awards were contested by the world’s leading financial institutions.
The winners were judged on their ability to deliver shareholder returns and to gain strategic advantage on their markets through sound management and client focus.
“I am delighted that Standard Chartered Zimbabwe has won these prestigious awards for the first time after many years,” said Standard Chartered chief executive officer Ralph Watungwa.
“While the economic environment has been challenging, we have been the fabric of the community in Zimbabwe for the past 120 years and are the country’s oldest financial institution. Standard Chartered has a unique brand in that it is able to combine its international expertise and capabilities with deep-rooted local knowledge and experience to deliver on superior financial performance and customer service.”
These awards are testimony that the bank is living up to its brand promise to be here for good.
“We have continued to support and build our franchise through what has been an extremely challenging operating environment in the country. ”
Watungwa speaks on challenges
IN accepting The Banker Award, Watungwa was asked: What were the main challenges faced by your bank in the past year?
(RW) Economic recovery has been slower than anticipated due to tight liquidity and inconclusive debate on key national policy issues.
Although deposits grew, they remained largely transitory in nature thereby limiting our ability to extend long-term financing.
Country and credit risk remained high which meant that we needed to be highly selective in our assets portfolio growth.
What do you feel were the main successes achieved by your bank in the past year?
(RW) Our business is well capitalised and remains highly liquid in recognition of the structure of our deposits in the absence of an interbank market and lender of last resort facility.
We are well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities as they present themselves. Staff and customer engagement remain high.
What plans does your bank have for the coming year and where do you see opportunities?
(RW) Continued high-level staff and customer engagement; positioning our franchise to exploit market opportunities, continue contributing to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery while managing attendant risks and enhancing our ability to leverage our network to take best advantage of trade flow.