Business News of 2014-03-06

Stanchart's operations help create 283,000 jobs

The operations of the Standard Chartered Bank in the country has, over the years, resulted in the creation of some 283,000 jobs in the various sectors of the economy.

The figure represents about 2.7 per cent of the total workforce in the country and comprises of both direct and indirect jobs that have been created within the 118 years that the bank has operated in the country.

This came to light when an impact assessment report, titled 'Banking in Africa,' on the operations of StanChart in Ghana and four other African countries was launched in Accra on March 3.

The report followed a study into the bank's activities in the five African countries and gave StanChart the opportunity to assess its contribution to the economic development of the country while serving as a guide to future investments and business plans.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Kweku Beddu-Addo, told the Daily Graphic after the launch in Accra that the initiative was part of the bank’s commitment to the African continent and Ghana in particular.

"Africa is very important to us. We have been here for a long time; we need to understand the impact of our business if we need to move forward and more importantly, which direction we should take as a bank in the years ahead," he said in an interview.

He explained that the findings of the report and recommendations thereof would be discussed by the Ghana management team and the group's top hierarchy and the conclusions factored into the bank's growth strategy.

Details of report

The study, which started last year, relied on the bank's 2012 financial performance and was authorised by Prof. Ethan Kapstein, a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development in Washington DC, and Dr Rene Kim of Steward Redqueen, an environment, social and governance consultancy.

Among other things, the study found that StanChart, which started operations in the country in the 1890s, had contributed some US$1.4 billion in value to the local economy.

This is equivalent to 3.4% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), which is a measure of the total amount of goods and services produced locally.

Additionally, the study found that direct salary, taxes and profits to locals amounted to US$93 million in value.

On the African perspective, the study noticed that StanChart helped in the creation of some 1.9 million jobs, representing about 0.6% of the sub-region's workforce as of 2012.

In terms of value, the study found that the bank's operations contributed some US$10.7 billion to sub-Saharan African's economy and supported US$7.2 billion worth of trade in the region since it started operations.

Public scrutiny

The recent study by StanChart on its operations follows a similar one conducted in 2010.

Both studies, the reports of which have since been discussed by the public, exposed the bank to public scrutiny on its investment modelling and operations over the year.

Public figures, including politicians, economists, officials from regulatory institutions and members of the academia, participated in the open discussion.

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