NAIROBI, May 28 (Reuters) - Standard Chartered will spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” in the years ahead to raise the share of income from its retail business 10 percentage points by 2020, its group head of retail clients said.
Karen Fawcett said the lender, which focuses on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, would invest the money in areas such as technology to raise the share of retail business income from 30 percent now.
“The bank has very big ambitions in this area,” she said in an interview in the Kenyan capital on Wednesday.
The bank’s retail business is focused on 80 cities, ranging from Shanghai to Lagos, that it expects to be among the biggest by 2030 in line with urbanisation trends.
Standard Chartered has set up its first digital branch in Africa at a shopping mall in Nairobi, offering online banking and cash machines, a recognition that Africa consumers have embraced the concept of shopping malls, Fawcett said.
Standard Chartered has been in some of its core African markets such as Kenya for more than a century but it faces increasing competition from other global banks and rising homegrown lenders in most parts of the continent.
The bank’s new generation digital banking platform, letting users access their accounts through any device, will be rolled out in Africa first when it is ready, she added.
“We see things moving quickly here. There is a huge demand from our clients,” Fawcett said, citing Islamic banking products, mortgages, car loans and wealth products.
“These are all things this emerging confident African consumer is going to need.”
Reporting by Duncan Miriri, editing by David Evans