STANDARD CHARTERED BANK LAUNCHES WEALTH CREATION PROPOSITION FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS
By Yemisi Suleiman
In commemoration of International Women’s Day and to wrap up the month-long celebrations for women in March, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited consolidated on its commitment to provide innovative women-focused initiatives with the launch of its new Women Banking Account & Women Winning with Wealth proposition.
The unique and well-researched offering will enable women entrepreneurs to acquire comprehensive financial and investment support as well as mentoring to start and grow their own businesses, increase their net worth, expand their investment capacity, achieve financial stability, and more.
The launch was held at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, March 29 2022 and it was an evening of entertainment and conversations around women creating and protecting their wealth. In her welcome address, the Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank, Dayo Aderugbo, noted that at this opportune moment in time, when people are exploring new opportunities, women are at the forefront of innovation and technology that continues to push frontiers once considered impossible.
Aderugbo said, “For us as women, there has never been a more important time to express ourselves and strive for success in the areas that matter most, which include wellness, security, financial stability, freedom, and most importantly, to be the best version of ourselves. At Standard Chartered, we also recognize that we need to lean into this moment, to support and accelerate change, innovation and transformation that benefits every human being, especially women.”
As part of its key objectives, Standard Chartered Bank is intent on improving the lives of 1 billion people by unleashing the full potential of women in its core markets, with the focal point being the creation of financial stability and road paths for women to attain equitable access to financial support, especially for small businesses. The bank is also committed to accelerating the provision of quality financial services to women across its markets, purposefully connecting Small and Medium Enterprises to the international market and building partnerships to expand the reach and scale of financial services.
The Bank’s commitment is demonstrated by its strong support of women in leadership positions such as having Racheal Asonibare as Chief Information Officer (CIO), Sola Mabadeje as Company Secretary and Yemisi Deji-Bejide as Head of Standard Chartered Capital & Advisory Nigeria as well as current Independent Non-Executive Directors on the Bank’s Board, Adiba Ighodaro and Bisi Lamikanra. This builds on the Bank’s legacy of ensuring women in leadership to foster equality and inclusion, having had women such as Bola Adesola serve as a former Managing Director/CEO. Dayo Aderugbo stressed that the Standard Chartered Bank culture is one of inclusion where men champion women to win, “so no competition exists between both genders.”
The event also featured a panel session anchored by the event host, Tolu Oniru-Demuren (aka Toolz), where the bank’s Head of Affluent Banking, Chima Ebor; Head of Wealth Management, Lanre Olajide; and Acting Head of Business Banking, Bisi Oke, provided insight on the new initiative.
Ebor acknowledged that it is difficult for women to succeed without financial empowerment. “But what we are saying is that you don’t have to marry rich to succeed; you can have sound financial education in building your wealth. We are focusing on women because when you train a man, you train an individual, but when you train a woman, you train a nation,” she said.
Speaking on the “Women in Business” propositions, Oke explained that the new offering will provide quality financial and non-financial support to boost productivity and increase economic diversification for businesswomen and businesses with women as majority shareholders. She said, “We have researched extensively, and the core focus is to ensure that we fill the gender gap. Our propositions, informed by several factors, include cost-saving on business accounts where clients get a 0% maintenance fee on any business account they open. We have affordable loans of up to N20m at discounted rates that are non-collateralized. We also have investment advisors who will hold one-on-one engagements with these business owners to help them grow their wealth.”
Olajide, who spoke on the bank’s reputation for due diligence with regard to opening accounts, explained that the policy is primarily to determine the prospective client’s risk tolerance level and ascertain the category of risk. He said, “It’s the responsible thing to do. We don’t offer products that fail to match the clients and we won’t give you anything above your risk level. Essentially, we are committed to giving everybody special treatment.”
Ms Chidinma Obi and Ms Uzoamaka Obul, two clients, recounted their separate experiences opening business accounts with Standard Chartered Bank, giving their assessment of the bank’s service delivery. While Obi commended the relationship managers for their patience and diligence in walking clients through the process and answering questions they may have, Obul encouraged more women to not just put money away as savings but “do some borrowing from the bank to make investments. I encourage all women to join priority bankers.”
Delivering the vote of thanks, Independent Non-Executive Director, Standard Chartered Bank, Adiba Ighodaro, said, “We know that one easy way to keep women down is through money. So, it is extremely important for them to be able to grow their wealth and have a ripple effect on their children and families.”
The high-octane event was attended by representatives of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Pan African University; and the Fate Foundation, both of which serve as Standard Chartered Bank’s implementation partners on a line-up of women-focused community impact programmes such as the SC Women in Technology Incubator that recently graduated winners including Zita Zita Agwunobi, Founder/CEO of Iverify who was recently announced as part of the startups selected for the Google Accelerator Africa programme.
Prominent figures also in attendance included Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Lanre da Silva, Banke Meshida-Lawal, Nicole Chikwe and Tobi Ayeni (aka MissTechy).
Below are photos from the event.