Standard Bank Namibia (SBN)’s overall compliance to the Namibian Financial Sector Charter (NFSC) stood at 61% as at 31 December 2013.
The Namibian Financial Sector Charter was introduced by the Ministry of Finance in November 2008. SBN through the Namibian Bankers Association is a signatory to the Charter.
SBN’s group company secretary, Advocate Sigrid Tjijorokisa said SBN is committed to achieving full compliance with the minimum targets for 2014 and 2019 as set out in the Charter.
“Standard Bank Namibia aims to achieve specific targets that are set for the following pillars of the Charter: ownership and control; human resources development; preferential procurement and enterprise development; corporate social investment; empowerment financing; and lastly, access and affordability of products and services,” she said.
The Exercisable Voting Rights of Broad Based Economic Empowerment (BBEE) Beneficiaries Board members of Standard Bank Namibia currently stand at 77% whilst the Exercisable Voting Rights of Women BBEE Beneficiaries Board members currently stand at 60%.
In relation to employment equity, the representation of BBEE beneficiaries in Junior and Middle Management stands at 58.54% against the NFSC target of 30%.
The budgeted investment on learning and development for the 2013 financial year as a percentage of payroll stood at 3%. The target set by the NFSC is 2%.
SBN for the period of January 2013 – December 2013 has spent 52.74% of its total procurement spent on BBEE accredited companies. The Namibian Financial Sector Charter requires 30% by 2014.
Tjijorokisa said the provision of credit is a very important function of the bank in terms of sustaining and financing business activity. She also said that total loans disbursed for BEE Small and Medium Enterprises constituted 3% of total business loans.
“Standard Bank Namibia pledges 1% of net profit generated by its business operations to CSI initiatives. This is four times more than what is required by the Charter. The strategic focus of SBN’s CSI program is on entrepreneurship development, education and health and wellness,” she said.
SBN has been partnering up with various social service organizations to impart financial knowledge to the general public and the youth in particular in a bid to improve financial literacy.
To date SBN in conjunction with the Youth Entrepreneurship Seminars Trust (YES Trust) SBN has mentored over 1 300 youths on financial literacy.
This project has been in existence since 2007 and is aimed at placing the recipients in a position where they are able to make sound financial decisions.
As part of its support the bank has committed 0.2% of its profits to finance this initiative. The initiative was launched in March 2012.
“Standard Bank Namibia is pleased to be making excellent progress in achieving compliance to the Charter. Even though compliance to the is voluntary Standard Bank believes that achieving these targets by all main players in the financial sector will contribute to a stronger financial and economic system as a whole,” said Tjijorokisa.