STANDARD CHARTERED BANK SUSTAINING THE BRUNEI MARKET FOR 60 YEARS

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Published on September 10, 2018 with No Comments

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The brand promise “Here for Good” is globally synonymous with Standard Chartered Bank and in Brunei that promise holds true as Standard Chartered is the only international bank to operate in Brunei. The Bank, which has been in operation for 60 years this year, has continued to expand their operations through digital investments and reshaping their business with a digital focus.

While the business operations and promotional efforts of Standard Chartered tend to grab digital and print news headlines in Brunei, it is their sustainability efforts that local consumers may overlook. “Standard Chartered Bank’s idea of being socially responsible is being sustainable and leaving something positive that can benefit the market which we have built roots in,” said Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Marilyn Graeme. One example which she gave was the Bank’s commitment to supporting financial literacy in Brunei.

“Financial Literacy is a multi-faceted area of education that could benefit various pockets of society. These groups can vary from students to small and medium enterprises, and even vulnerable or marginalised groups such as low income families to single mothers,” said Graeme. As an example, the Bank partnered with Radisson Hotel, the Women’s Institute of Brunei and Universiti Brunei Darussalam to organise a financial literacy workshop for single mothers in Brunei. The workshop aimed to empower women by educating them with tips and advise around daily budgeting as well as to give them a platform where they could connect with other single mothers and talk to Standard Chartered Bank’s employees on their individual finances.

Sustainability is not always centred around specific programmes. As a bank it is also about the way organisations operate – being environmentally conscious across their footprint, for example.Globally, Standard Chartered enforces environmental practices at work through awareness campaigns with staff and implementing energy saving awareness in the workplace. During the establishment of The Heart Of Borneo which pledged to protect forest areas in Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia on Borneo Island, Standard Chartered Brunei donated USD500,000 towards the project, in partnership with WWF.

The Heart of Borneo initiative involved rehabilitating CO2 emission-reducing peatland forests and doing a biological diversity survey in key zones to help protect species in a 200,000 sqkm area which spans Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Drained peatland swamps are also very susceptible to fire and were major contributors to haze which enveloped part of the Borneo island, including Brunei, during the dry seasons.

Standard Chartered Brunei also practices its global sustainability programmes such as its ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative which is aimed to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment by improving access to quality, affordable eye care in the markets where the Bank operates. Globally, Standard Chartered is committed to raising USD100 million for ‘Seeing is Believing’ from 2003 to 2020. Funds raised are invested for ‘Seeing is Believing’ in a number of ways; from projects that seek to provide comprehensive eye care in low and middle-income countries, to innovative eye health delivery solutions.

Volunteering plays a key part in engaging employees and giving back to the community. Standard Chartered is the only bank to give all its staff three days of volunteering leave to fulfil throughout the year so that they can take time off work to volunteer for causes that they feel passionate about or that are organised by the Bank.

Anirvan Dastidar, CEO Standard Chartered Brunei said: “In our efforts around sustainability, we try our best to answer how we can serve the nation and its people, how we can preserve and improve the environment, and how we can make use of our global network to bring the best of Standard Chartered to Brunei. As the Bank continues to grow, we are also committed to nurturing local talent; after all, the future generations are they key to the country’s progression.”

To find out more about Standard Chartered’s sustainability efforts, visit www.sc.com

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