In its annual financial report for 2017 and presented to shareholders at the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lilongwe, Chairman Dr Rex Harawa and Chief Executive William le Roux said Finacle is driving the bank’s digitisation and opening new possibilities for customers.
Standard Bank says Finacle is improving customer experiences by offering a wide range of internet and mobile network-driven products and services that break physical and location barriers on a round-the-clock basis.
“With the new Finacle core banking system in place, we will drive digitisation in order to improve customer experience. Following the transition to Finacle, a total of four new digital banking products have been introduced and that more will be added in the course of the year,” said the Bank’s Chairman.
Dr Haarawa said the four products are 24/7 Online, a new internet banking channel for personal customers, Enterprise Online (EOL), an internet banking channel targeting business, *247#, a USSD based mobile banking channel available through the phone, and 247 App, a smart app channel that offers customer transactions.
It was also noted that in order to mitigate card fraud and bring customer cards to an international level, the bank successfully migrated its cards to Europay Mastercard Visa platform (EMV) in December 2017.
On financial performance, the report says the bank’s net profit for 2017 is K12.2 billion. During the AGM, the bank’s shareholders approved a total dividend of K2.5 billion or K10.65 per share for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.
It says despite operating in a tough environment, Standard Bank managed to grow its assets by 37 percent from K313.5 billion in 2016 to K428 billion in 2017.
“The group continues to maintain a strong position in the market and is able to leverage on its size, and scope to compete for opportunities to transform the market,” reads the report.
It also says that the bank spent K75.3 million directly into socio-economic activity in form of sponsorships mainly to education, health and youth empowerment through entrepreneurship.
“We will ensure long-term sustainability by harmonising the needs of our customers, our people, and our shareholders and by being relevant to the societies in which we operate in,” reads the bank’s report.
During the AGM, shareholders agreed to pass a resolution changing the bank’s name from Standard Bank Limited to Standard Bank PLC, to denote its public listing and in compliance with Section 48 of the new Companies Act (2013).
One of the bank’s minority shareholders Frank Harawa representing Luvinda Investments singled out the board of directors for accepting a marginal increase in allowances for the year noting that other boards of listed companies are apportioning themselves hefty perks that are not respondent with performance.
“It is pleasing to note that the directors have the interests of the company and other shareholders at heart,” he said.