Standard Bank Plc has launched its maiden annual integrated sustainability report which highlights its social, economic, and environmental impact in the country.
The Standard Bank Report to Society is a guiding tool the bank will use to record and track its contribution to Malawi’s national development. The report details these integrated efforts which balance its business and social obligations.
This year’s review highlights the impact of K248 million the bank committed towards various Social, Economic and Environment (SEE) impact areas as a contribution towards enhancing the growth for Malawi for Financial Year ended December 31, 2021.
Launching the 2021 Standard Bank Report to Society, Chief Executive Phillip Madinga told stakeholders in Lilongwe that during the financial year ended December 31, 2021, the Bank made positive contributions in six key areas aiming to uplift lives of people at grassroots and catalyze economic growth.
The areas are job creation and enterprise development, financial inclusion, trade facilitation and investment, health, education, and employee training and development.
“As a financial services provider in Malawi, we remain resolute in our purpose which is Malawi is our Home, and We Drive Her Growth. We are committed to playing our role to drive the country’s economic growth sustainably by serving our communities through impactful projects that touch lives and improve societies,” said Madinga.
The Chief Executive also added that Standard Bank Plc which recorded a net profit of K24.8 billion in 2021, committed K248 Million or 1% towards various SEE endeavors.
Madinga said as a key player in the banking industry, the Bank takes pride in championing initiatives that improve the country for its people.
“Through the report, Standard Bank is demonstrating its integral role as enabler of economic growth by applying its expertise in the local and regional financial sector,” he said.
He added; “Sustainability is multi-dimensional and is part of everything we do at Standard Bank Plc. It is about mitigating risks, building resilience, creating opportunities and transforming lives. It is the long-term goal of sustainable development which encompasses meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations.”
The Report to Society has been developed with guidance from the International Integrated Reporting Framework and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, linking the Bank’s activities and commitments to the global agenda for a sustainable future.
“As a passionate driver of growth, this report communicates how we have leveraged our SEE impacts to support our strategy and achieve our purpose. Furthermore, the report intends to detail how we plan to generate impact in the future by giving an overview of our key impact ambitions and how we intend to measure our progress and success,” said the chief executive.
Notable contributions by the Bank include the introduction of Unayo, a ubiquitous transactional and digital platform that provides money transfers to people in rural and urban areas, empowering women farmers and youth, providing bursaries and grants in the public education sector, facilitating trade through Africa China Trade Solutions and helping the public health system in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and corrective palate surgeries.
Under Unayo, Standard Bank Plc in the year 2021 recruited over 8,000 agents and merchants thus contributing towards financial inclusion as most of these were either un-banked or underbanked, while increasing financial liquidity to rural areas that have no access to formal financial services.
The Bank’s three-year program with UN Women under the smart agriculture initiatives, helped increase output of groundnuts for 10,000 groundnuts farmers in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Mzimba.
This is the inaugural report with a view of 2021. The Bank intends to publish the report on an annual basis.