Standard Lesotho Bank scooped the highly coveted Bank of the Year Award 2019 at the awards dinner held last week in central London. The award was presented by The Banker, which is considered to be credible in providing economic and financial intelligence for the world's financial sector and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting since 1926.
“We think that Standard Bank’s South African and Africa-wide network is unmatched in its breadth, depth and robustness – and we work hard to ensure that all our capabilities are at the service of our clients, 24/7, 365 days a year, on digital channels or in person,” said Mr. Thabiso Tsenki, the Acting Chief Executive of the Bank.
In a citation by The Banker, the publication noted that Standard Lesotho Bank has emerged as the country’s top bank, thanks to a recovery in profits, the financing of Lesotho’s nascent medicinal cannabis market, and programmes designed to support local entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
After a difficult 2017 during which profits fell 23%, Standard Lesotho Bank’s bottom line stabilised in 2018, with a 1% rise in net profit. The bank’s asset base grew by 7% in 2018, including a 5% rise in Tier 1 capital.
Business uncertainty continued to weigh on key metrics, however, and return on equity slipped to 25.2% in 2018 from 26.1% in the previous year, with its cost-to-income ratio weakening to 53.6% from 51.4%. The bank’s non-performing loan ratio rose to 3.6% from 3.1%.
Standard Lesotho Bank remains committed to entrepreneurship and the country’s SME segment, launching an entrepreneurship development programme in March 2018. This includes a physical hub for entrepreneurs to use, along with a training programme for selected SMEs.
The Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking also became the first financial services provider to offer solutions for the country’s nascent medicinal cannabis industry, providing a M11 million ($740,000) loan facility to MG Health (formerly Medigrow) for the establishment of a state-of-the-art laboratory for testing and the quality control of medicinal cannabis.
Standard Lesotho Bank has built on its recently upgraded core banking system, with the rollout of seven Cash Depositing machines, and has upgraded the functionality of ATMs, enabling the payment of school fees by parents among other services.
“Our success is a result of careful planning on the back of the upgraded core banking system,” says the Acting Chief Executive “We are now positioned to become the ‘bank of the future’.” Mr. Tsenki added that the award is a direct result of the commitment, dedication and service beyond the call of duty that is in the DNA of every employee at the Bank. He concluded by congratulating the Standard Lesotho Bank team for the great achievement and thanked the many clients of the Bank for remaining loyal to the Bank over the years.
For more information, contact:
Acting head of Marketing & Communications
Standard Lesotho Bank
Tel: +266 2221 2254/62867995