Standard Chartered has set out a medium-term ambition to generate 50% of its income from digital initiatives, innovation and transformation of its core.
In an investor update, the bank says it intends to rebalance cash investments to spend $1 billion on strategic initiatives each year, double previous levels, with the aim of growing its retail and SME client base by 500%. This aligns with medium-term ambitions for volumes and payment-flow growth of 50x across its various new venture platforms.
The investor update comes just days after the bank comitted to invest $500 million in digital lending unicorn Atome Financial as part of a ten-year multi-product strategic partnership that will entail the roll out of buy now, pay later services across major Asian markets.
The bank told investors that it is enjoying rapid customer acquisition in new ventures, such as Hong Kong virtual bank Mox, which has passed 175,000 customers, and via its African digital banks, which have grown to 700,000 customers in two years, 75% of which are under 35 years old.
Bill Winters, group chief executive, says: “This is a pivotal moment for the bank; we’ve increased our cash investment in strategic initiatives over the last five years and plan to double that to around $1bn a year. In our dynamic markets, customer demands are ever changing. We want to be the bank for economic growth, and so we will be a consistent and positive disruptor, thinking ahead and anticipating our customers’ needs.
"We have a differentiated approach to innovation, rooted in the unique strengths of our footprint and experience, our strengthened technology core and broad partnerships. And with Mox, CardsPal, Solv and others we have some exciting evidence that it’s bearing fruit. Through strategic investments, we are transforming Standard Chartered and the way we do banking.”