With the recent 10 percent allocation of shares to Standard Bank employees, the bank is showing that it is indeed embracing broad-based economic empowerment (BBEE). Between 1 400 and 1 500 Standard Bank employees in Namibia will now own shares in the bank.
This follows a funding agreement signed earlier this year when the International Financial Corporation (IFC) disbursed a multi-million dollar facility to Purros Investments Pty Ltd, a special-purpose-vehicle created to support employee share ownership in Standard Bank Namibia.
Standard Bank chief executive Vetumbuavi Junius Mungunda said the transaction will address the historical inequalities in the country and create new opportunities in a sustainable manner. Mungunda further said in order to support and improve the socio-economic status of the country, there is a need to bring the marginalised in society into the mainstream of the economy.
“We did only not give shares to employees, but there are two percent shares that have been provided to the Community Trust,” Mungunda said. The Community Trust will look into the different communities that may need assistance. The identified communities will then be targeted by helping the less privileged in areas like education, health and housing, which is a major concern for the majority of Namibians.
The bank, as signatory to the Namibian Financial Sector Charter, has committed to a broad measure of targets, which include a 25% shareholding by Namibian broad-based economic empowerment beneficiaries by December 31, 2019. The bank remains committed to this undertaking.
“Standard Bank Namibia views transformation as a fundamental change process that affects every aspect of our business and is a social and economic imperative for Namibia’s long-term future. Our approach to achieving meaningful transformation goes beyond meeting compliance targets. We want this culture to be a tangible, everyday reality for our employees, customers, stakeholders and the communities we serve,” Mungunda explained.