• Introduction
    • OVERVIEW
    • INTRODUCTION TO THE STANDARD BANK GROUP
    • OUR REPORTING SUITE
    • A LETTER FROM OUR CEO
    • STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
    • ASSURANCE STATEMENT
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • SEE impact areas
    • OVERVIEW
    • IMPACT REPORTING
    • 1.
      FINANCIAL INCLUSION
    • 2.
      JOB CREATION AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
    • 3.
      INFRASTRUCTURE
    • 4.
      AFRICA TRADE AND INVESTMENT
    • 5.
      EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
    • 6.
      EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
     
     
  • ESG
    • OVERVIEW
    • ABOUT THIS REPORT
    • MANAGING E&S RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES
    • OUR DIRECT ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
    • VALUING OUR PEOPLE
    • INVESTING IN COMMUNITIES
    • PROMOTING SOUND GOVERNANCE AND INTEGRITY
    • ESG METRICS AND POLICIES
     
     
  • Transformation
    • OVERVIEW
    • INTRODUCTION
    • A LETTER FROM SBSA CE: LUNGISA FUZILE
    • STANDARD BANK’S BEE SCORECARD
    • WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION
    • B-BBEE CERTIFICATE
     
     
     
     
     
     
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Celebrating our 10-year partnership with ICBC: Growing Africa-China trade and investment

China is now Africa’s largest trade partner and bilateral trade and investment ties are growing rapidly. As many as 10 000 Chinese-owned firms are operating across Africa.

Growing numbers of African businesses, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to corporations, are doing business in China. Chinese trade and investment offers opportunities to grow Africa’s manufacturing sector, increase the scale and sophistication of African exports, and create jobs across the continent. Since 2008, Standard Bank and ICBC have been working in partnership to support businesses operating in the China-Africa corridor. In the 10 years since our partnership was established, our two banks have provided USD8.5 billion in financing support for over 40 projects in Africa involving Chinese companies, leveraging investment of around USD30 billion.

Sim Tshabalala
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, STANDARD BANK GROUP
“After 10 years of partnership, there are now literally dozens of joint projects and shared achievements between ICBC and Standard Bank that range across every major area of our business. They include joint lending for projects in Africa involving Chinese companies, pioneering of the market for African debt in China, joint work on Renminbi internationalisation, joint cash management services for large Chinese corporations in Africa, steadily expanding staff exchanges, and fruitful mutual learning on IT and in risk management. Most visibly, we can point to our joint I Go Africa and I Go China credit card loyalty programme and to our joint Africa-China banking centres in Johannesburg and Lagos from which Mandarin-speaking consultants assist Chinese business people in Africa and help African enterprises to connect with China.”
Sola David-Borha
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AFRICA REGIONS, STANDARD BANK GROUP
“Most African business and government leaders tell us that they believe the Africa-China opportunity to be the largest opportunity presented by any foreign partner. Moreover, it also means Africa can chart a course that will be interconnected with other emerging markets and therefore inextricably integrated into the drivers of the global economy. Africa-China trade is undisputedly the most important external economic dynamic for our continent, and one that will only be enhanced through further Chinese investment and a deepening connection. Africa’s potential lies in its ability to work together through its own regional integration to fuel its broader global economic ambitions.”

As Chinese companies increase their capital investment and activity across multiple African markets, they require a full range of ongoing banking services.

ICBC and Standard Bank work together to fulfil these needs. At the same time, we provide a broad range of services for African businesses engaging with Chinese markets. Standard Bank increasingly refers our African clients to ICBC for banking services when they enter China, while ICBC refers its clients to Standard Bank when they enter or deal with Africa. We have joint client mandates for many of China’s biggest investors in Africa. We’re extending collaboration to areas such as private banking, wealth management, credit card businesses, bond trading and settlement, IT and e-security collaboration, cross-border remittance, payments and trade finance risk underwriting.

EXAMPLES OF COLLABORATION INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
 
Standard Bank hosted ICBC’s ‘I Go Global’ credit card reward schemes for Chinese travellers in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. Since the launch of the scheme in South Africa in November 2017, ICBC has provided transnational services to nearly 100 000 credit card holders in Africa. The joint Standard Bank- ICBC credit card reward scheme is currently being rolled out to other African markets.
We offer a bespoke retail banking solution that facilitates personal remittances between South Africa and China.
The ICBC-Standard Bank Plc Global Financial Market Platform Business joint venture serves clients in Africa and China.
We offer internet banking in Chinese in Angola, which has a large Chinese business community and a high level of online and mobile banking, especially among Standard Bank clients. More Chinese internet banking sites will be rolled out across the continent in 2019.

We have entered into agreements with a number of other Chinese companies, to further expand our offering to individuals and businesses on both sides of the Africa-China corridor. For example:

We have Africa-China banking centres in Johannesburg and Lagos. These are one-stop shops for Chinese businesses and individuals seeking to transact in, across and from Africa. Staffed by Mandarin-speaking bankers, the centres provide a virtual finance hub for personal and business banking clients, and for Chinese importers and exporters. Consultation and advisory services are provided via telephone, online or email, and African and Chinese clients are able to link into China’s digital banking and customer knowledge systems. We’re in the process of opening Africa-China banking centres in a number of other African hubs.

Standard Bank has 30 Mandarin-speaking relationship managers across 15 markets, many of whom are African people. We also operate an entirely Mandarin-speaking branch at Crown Mines in Johannesburg. The branch is dedicated to helping Chinese importers and exporters access business opportunities in South Africa, Lesotho, eSwatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

At the BRICS Summit, Standard Bank and the China Development Bank signed a USD500 million loan facility, designed to support the growth of Standard Bank’s African SME clients, many of whom are looking to export to China, over the next seven years.

In 2018, Standard Bank took 61 clients from nine African countries to the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE), to assist them to secure export contracts with Chinese companies.

Shyft, Standard Bank’s global digital wallet for Android and iOS, allows foreign currency purchasing and trade, all from a mobile phone. Clients and customers throughout Africa and in China can use Shyft to send, spend, store or exchange funds in USD, EUR, GBP and AUD.

We’ve partnered with UnionPay International (UPI), a subsidiary of China UnionPay, the largest card payment organisation in the world. Standard Bank will accept UPI cards in 10 African countries, and we’re licensed to issue UnionPay cards in South Africa – providing a cost-effective and secure mechanism for cross-border payment. This allows UnionPay customers to use their cards on Standard Bank issued point of sale terminals and access the Standard Bank ATM network. South African business travellers to China can use their UnionPay cards issued in South Africa by Standard Bank at merchants and ATMs across China. Standard Bank‘s UnionPay capability also allows Africa-based business people and tourists with Standard Bank accounts, cards or online payment products access to the full range of payment apps currently used to transact in China.

As Africa’s relationship with China matures and deepens, the wider use of China’s currency, the renminbi, across Africa offers opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce the risk and cost of intra-Africa and Africa-China trade.

Standard Bank and ICBC are working together to create multi-currency financing products that make full use of our combined advantages in both local currency and offshore renminbi financing.

We offer a Chinese yuan renminbi (CNY) capacity in all our subsidiaries in African countries. We also offer a 24-hour regulatory-compliant and risk-managed foreign exchange service which includes the renminbi. This is supported by our Mandarin-speaking banking teams, together with our agreement with UnionPay International to host and support their electronic payments portal in Africa, and between Africa and China. Many African countries that experience regular dollar constraints have arranged renminbi swap links, allowing them to use renminbi to pay for imports from China. Renminbi swap links allow the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay for Chinese imports in renminbi whenever needed, effectively removing exchange rate risk for certain key imports.

In 2018, Standard Bank and ICBC celebrated their 10-year partnership. This collaboration included both banks joining the 28 core banks currently developing the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking. Above, Wendy Dobson (Standard Bank) and Jinny Yan (ICBC) are in attendance at the public consultation launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking.