Standard Chartered Bank (Stanchart) has pledged its readiness to help link Ghana to the various financial markets and partners for trade and investments across the globe.
“What we can do for Ghana is that, because we are international, we can help to tell Ghana’s story and link Ghana to the rest of the world and the global financial markets to partners for trade and investment and in the globalised world,” the Group Chief Executive Officer of Stanchart, Mr Peter Sands, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra.
“We find this as an important thing to do and we will do all we can to ensure that we do it and do it right for the country to benefit from our unique global network,” he said.
The bank is one of the world's largest international banks with over 1,700 branches, offices and outlets in 68 countries across the globe.
Stanchart has been operating in some of the world's most dynamic markets for over 150 years.
More than 90 per cent of the bank’s income and profits are derived from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
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Mr Sands, who was in the country for the bank’s board’s first global meeting in Accra, said the bank had quite a broad business base in the country and “everything from consumers to SMEs to the very biggest companies and projects.”
He said the bank had also been able to assist Ghana by bringing in capacity in specialised areas to help with particular types of projects.
Mr Sands said, “in the area of financing, we make sure that we provide Ghana with best capabilities from wherever we are across our network from any part of the world where Stanchart has a presence.”
He said the drivers of growth, in terms of demographics, industrialisation, increasing political stability, improving standards of governance across the continent, all abound in the country.
“Ghana is at a leading edge and we see huge opportunities here and that is why last year we decided to step up the pace of our investment not only in Ghana, but on the continent,” Mr Sands said.
“Beginning last year, we have been opening another 100 branches across Africa; 27 of them were opened last year, of which three were here in Ghana and we will continue to expand our network,” he said.
Mr Sands also indicated that it was not just about branches, but about talent, product capability and technology that banks brought to the country.
Mr Sands applauded Ghana’s human capital, saying, “what you have here is of high quality and there is the need for the government to continue to invest in quality education for the people to enable it to stay ahead of the rest of its neighbours on the continent.”
“The growth of a country is a function of the quality of its human capital so Ghana has to continue to invest in quality education to take advantage of the strengths you have in that area,” he said, adding that “We should make the strengths even stronger and not be complacent about them.”
By Charles Benoni Okine