A well-functioning banking system plays a fundamental role in driving economic growth. But the financial crisis led to a sharp decline in public trust in the industry and many continue to question the role banks should play in society. Against this background Standard Chartered Bank asked us to quantify the role it plays in supporting growth and job creation in Ghana, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sub-Saharan Africa. It hoped to use our insights to drive strategic action within the bank and build trusting relationships with stakeholders.
Our assessments combine quantitative and qualitative analysis to create a complete picture of Standard Chartered’s impact in these countries. The quantitative assessment used a Nobel Prize-winning input-output model to quantify the impact of both Standard Chartered’s direct operations and the financing it provides.
In Bangladesh, for example, Standard Chartered directly or indirectly supports 1.5% of GDP and some 655,000 jobs. It’s one of the country’s most important taxpayers and through trade finance supports over 13% of Bangladesh’s international trade. The qualitative assessment revealed the bank’s other contributions to the public good, such as trade services, financial innovation and development of expertise.
Steward Redqueen helped show Standard Chartered how it could enhance its economic and social contribution, to rebuild contacts with society and foster dialogue with government, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders. Following our Ghana report, the bank plans to increase lending and provide technical assistance to local SMEs. Moreover, quantifying the importance of the bank’s role in trade finance for the development of emerging economies has highlighted potential unintended consequences of regulatory changes regarding the supply and costs of such finance.