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Standard Bank has been recognised in both the SME Banker of the Year and SME Bank of the Year categories at the 2021 Efma SME Banking Awards. Picture: SUPPLIED/STANDARD BANK
Standard Bank has been recognised in both the SME Banker of the Year and SME Bank of the Year categories at the 2021 Efma SME Banking Awards. Picture: SUPPLIED/STANDARD BANK

Standard Bank has been honoured at Efma’s second annual SME Banking Awards, nabbing Gold for the first time in the SME Banker of the Year category, and Silver for the second year in a row in the SME Bank of the Year category.

Participating bankers and institutions from 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America were selected by a panel of expert judges. Nominees in SME Bank of the Year category were chosen based on their ability to support SME customers through another challenging pandemic year while delivering innovative products and services.

“To be recognised once again at the SME Banking Awards is a great honour and a testament to Standard Bank’s commitment to our purpose — Africa is our home, we drive her growth,” said Simone Cooper, head of business clients SA at Standard Bank.

“Our success really lies in the relationships we build with our clients, developing a deeper understanding of their challenges and solutioning for them. SMEs continue to face extraordinary hurdles and our clients have counted on Standard Bank to keep another hand on the wheel as they navigate the future.”

SMEs continue to face extraordinary hurdles and our clients have counted on Standard Bank to keep another hand on the wheel as they navigate the future
Simone Cooper, head of business clients SA at Standard Bank

Standard Bank was acknowledged for its deep understanding of Africa, its efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, and key initiatives under way that serve the SME market.

Standard Bank has made it easier for SMEs to do their banking by moving from physical branches towards virtual ones. Standard Bank’s Enterprise Direct virtual relationship model gives SMEs direct access to a team of experienced business bankers and specialists that can provide banking services through email and telephony channels.

Through technological advancements, the bank has made great strides in solving the SME challenge of access to funding across Africa by using behavioural data in the credit scoring process.

In addition to supporting SMEs with their banking and funding needs, Standard Bank believes in going beyond banking to provide support that enables the growth of these businesses through innovative offerings such as SimplyBlu and Trade Club that help entrepreneurs to access new markets digitally and internationally.

“SMEs are the primary drivers of innovation and development in Africa, and I am proud of our team at Standard Bank for partnering with customers to realise this tremendous opportunity, helping business rebuild, reinvent and recover,” said Cooper.

Read Standard Bank's full entry for the SME Banking Award here, and listen to the Efma Podcasts interview with Cooper here

This article was paid for by Standard Bank

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