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Our social and economic impact in Ghana

Delivering value for our shareholders, while contributing positively to the communities where we live and work, is at the heart of our business strategy. In 2010, we commissioned independent research on the social and economic impact of our operations in Ghana, the first in a series of reports to help us understand how we can contribute more to the societies where we operate. The study on Ghana was led by Professor Ethan Kapstein of INSEAD. To the best of our knowledge, it is among the first of its kind to be published by an international financial institution.

After 114 years, Ghana is still a strategically important market for us and one of our most profitable in Africa; we are consistently ranked as one of the top three banks in the country. With 21 branches and 800 staff, we deliver a comprehensive range of wholesale and consumer banking services to our 160,000 clients.

In 2009, we provided Ghanaian businesses, consumers and government agencies with nearly USD900 million of financing from onshore and offshore savings, more than any other commercial bank. But our contribution in Ghana goes far beyond the provision of credit.

As an international universal bank, we help support Ghana’s economy by using our global footprint to increase trade and investment flows; we support clients in reaching international environmental, social and governance standards; we spur innovation through the launch of new products; we improve access to finance; and we provide world-class employment opportunities and training.

This study and subsequent further studies will assist us in building a clearer picture of our impact across economies and societies, and help us understand how to maximise this contribution. Through the studies, we hope to contribute to the wider debate on the social and economic impact of banking.

The studies also highlight areas where we can improve. For example, we’re currently looking into how we can deepen our social and economic contribution in Ghana by working with governments and other private sector firms to ensure a more favourable business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The research includes a quantitative and qualitative analysis of our activities in Ghana in 2009. The quantitative analysis focuses on our operations and onshore lending from Ghanaian savings. The research team applied a social accounting matrix – a well-established tool used by governments worldwide – to quantify the direct, indirect and induced impact, also known as the multiplier effect, of our activities.

Our core banking activities in Ghana also include facilitating offshore financing, investing in government bonds, and lending to other financial institutions. The multiplier effect of these contributions was not included in the quantitative analysis for statistical reasons that are outlined in the report. Instead, they were analysed qualitatively along with our trade finance services, financial innovation, human resources development and sustainability programmes.

Key findings

Delivering economic impact:

  • In 2009 we had a direct, indirect, and induced impact of USD400 million of value-added, equivalent to 2.6 per cent of Ghana’s GDP
  • We supported a total of 156,000 jobs through our activities, about 1.5 per cent of the Ghanaian workforce
  • We provided USD17.2 million of financing to the SME sector, a key driver of growth and job creation in Ghana, and our trade lending of USD193 million helped connect Ghana to international markets

Developing human capital:

  • Our operation in Ghana is a training ground for professionals in the Ghanaian financial sector. Approximately 13 Standard Chartered alumni hold key positions in the country’s banking sector, with four being CEOs

Improving standards:

  • We share international best practice, helping to support Ghana’s long-term economic growth
  • We support corporate governance by requiring that Ghanaian business clients formalise management structures and processes for monitoring business performance. This helps to strengthen Ghana’s business environment and ensure that taxes are paid on corporate earnings
  • We encourage social and environmental risk management in project finance
  • We have a robust framework for tackling financial crime

Helping customers:

  • We introduce innovative products to support customers and encourage competition and growth in Ghana’s financial sector. We were the first – and are still the leading – bank in Ghana to offer customers commodity, interest rate and currency hedging. Our Access 24/7 account, which lets customers with as little as USD7 open a bank account, has provided 23,000 previously unbanked Ghanaians with banking services.

To read the full report and for more information on how we evaluate our social and economic impact, see: http://www.standardchartered.com/sustainability/news/20101014/en/index.html

Annual Report and Accounts 2010