Standard Bank: Championing Development and Growth Across Africa

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Standard Bank: Championing Development and Growth Across Africa

Standard Bank Group is a proudly African institution that aims to provide sustainable solutions for its clients and to make excellent profits for its investors. Standard Bank delivers superior returns, exceptional client experiences, and runs a wide network of branches and offices throughout Africa. Since its founding nearly 159 years ago, Standard Bank has stayed true to its tradition of solving problems on the ground, strengthening relationships and partnering with clients to find innovative solutions.

Access to reliable electricity is one of the biggest challenges in Africa. To this day, half a billion people still don’t have access to grid electricity. Therefore, one of Standard Bank’s main aims is to ensure that additional access is made possible for citizens of rural Africa through off-grid solar solutions that are cost-effective, greener, faster and renewable.

In this regard, Standard Bank has proven that financing new, forward-thinking energy solutions that think outside the box are the way forward. For example, their syndicated loan to M-KOPA inspired other lenders to follow in their footsteps and make sustainable investments into new categories. M-KOPA is a connected asset financing platform that offers millions of underbanked customers access to life-enhancing products and services. M-KOPA has built one of the world’s most advanced connected asset financing platforms. They have used it to provide nearly $400 million in financing that has enabled 1 million customers to access solar lighting, energy-efficient televisions and fridges, smartphones, cash loans, and more.

Standard Bank’s partnership with M-KOPA is just one example of the bank’s work in sustainable finance. Standard Bank’s sustainable finance unit, has for example, issued Africa’s largest green bond. The USD200 million bond facility is a 10-year facility with the express purposes of raising capital for use in on-lending by Standard Bank Group’s (SBG) Sustainable Finance Business Unit and achieving longer tenor financing for sustainable development.

Another great example of Standard Bank’s green financing is their partnership with Acorn Holdings Limited. Standard Bank was Lead Arranger on the first ever green bond issuance in East Africa for Acorn, and the funding raised will be used to finance the construction of green-certified properties which will provide housing for 5,000 students in Nairobi. Structured as a project bond, and the first with a deferred drawdown structure, the program is also the first ever to achieve green certification in Kenya, which ensures that it contributes to reducing carbon emissions.

Equally, Standard Bank’s collaboration and investment with Scatec, the largest operator of solar plants in Africa, embodies their commitment to creating better solutions and a CO2-free world in the near future.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which Standard Bank is able to channel capital into companies that care as much about sustainable development as they do, unlocking sustainable finance and also accessing pricing benefits.

Through their wholehearted support of the SDG’s and integration of them into the DNA of their institution, Standard Bank’s lending decisions are steadily establishing a healthier and more promising future for Africa.



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