By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – STANDARD Bank has opened what has been hailed as the world’s first dedicated Africa China Banking Centre (ACBC) in Johannesburg.
The centre will to provide a platform to link African and Chinese clients with the Asian country’s highly networked digital banking and customer knowledge systems.
ACBC is a virtual finance hub for personal and business banking clients, staffed by bankers with Chinese language and cultural capability, providing seamless consultation and advisory services via telephone, online or email.
George Lo, Head: Africa China Banking, Standard Bank, said this represented a critical opportunity to leverage the full potential of Africa and China’s rapidly evolving trade partnership.
|”As an African bank with global reach, Standard Bank is uniquely placed in Africa – and, indeed, the world – to unlock African opportunity by accessing Chinese capability,” Lo said.
Six dedicated bankers will assist clients with day to day banking needs such as card facilities and transactions, internet and self-service banking, cross-border payments, and foreign currency services and support.
Standard Bank has further plans to develop the capability of the centre to help African enterprises connect with Chinese products and investment opportunities.
End to end Renminbi business solutions will also, in time, be provided to expedite and simplify foreign exchange transactions.
Lo disclosed plans for further investment in ACBC in the key African growth hubs of Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria and before the end of 2017.
This aligns with Standard Bank’s vision to combine African and Chinese capabilities.
“This is the scale of our challenge, but also the scale of the opportunity that Standard Bank and ICBC are uniquely placed to realise,” Lo said.