Standard Bank – trading as Stanbic Bank – has been formally awarded a banking licence in Côte d’Ivoire. The Group opened a Representative Office in December 2013, signalling a drive towards establishing a presence in Francophone West Africa, and is now gearing up to commence banking operations in a market which stands out for its diverse, rapidly growing economy and business friendly reputation.
The country currently enjoys one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest GDP growth rates, expected to maintain seven per cent or more over the next three years.
“We are delighted to be actively expanding into this attractive market alongside many of our existing multi-national corporate clients and look forward to partnering with them and other players, as well as supporting enterprises considering entering Côte d’Ivoire and the wider region for the first time,” a statement quoted Stanbic Bank CEO, Hervé Boyer, to have said.
Boyer said Stanbic Bank in Côte d’Ivoire would provide the same Corporate and Investment Banking products, advice and service experience that customers have come to expect across the continent.
This most recent banking licence is seen as a milestone for Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest lender by assets, which prizes its ‘on-the-ground’ footprint across the continent, now 20 countries, and views its ability to support clients locally as a defining competitive advantage.
“The mostly French speaking West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) region was identified as a key growth opportunity and an excellent strategic fit for the Group which has committed to play a leading role in driving Africa’s growth.
“With the addition of Côte d’Ivoire to our portfolio, we will be able to meet our clients’ banking needs in one of the continent’s most exciting growth regions,” the bank’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for Africa, Victor Williams said.
UEMOA as a whole is regarded as having substantial business advantages stemming from its stable single currency, shared central bank and stock exchange, as well as its increasingly harmonised business legal structures and burgeoning population. Côte d’Ivoire is ideally positioned as a hub for the region which also includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.