Standard Bank offers automated Sub-Saharan custody solution to Investors

Standard Bank has created arguably the largest custody and investor services footprint throughout Sub-Saharan Africa by implementing a customised Securities and Trading Technology (STT) solution.

Standard Bank is the leading provider of custodial and value added services in sub-Saharan Africa with assets under custody in excess of ZAR 1 Trillion and coverage in 9 markets, including South Africa. The technology solution employs a hub-and-spoke approach whereby all the sub-Saharan custody and investor services branches of Stanbic Bank and Standard Bank are connected to a central hub in Johannesburg, thereby circumventing the common problem of poor telecommunications infrastructure in many African countries and the associated support issues evident in discreet installations.

Michelle Janke, Marketing Director for STT, comments: "The benefits of a centralised model resulted in reduced implementation and upgrade costs. Testing, implementation and rollout were all conducted from Johannesburg, which also solved the problem of skills shortages in many countries. The system has built-in security measures to match trades, cutting out the need to confirm these trades manually." Janke says that the hub also means only one point of SWIFT communication, which is much faster and results in less room for error.Craig Sampson, Head of Non-Banking Financial Institutions & Custodial Services – Stanbic Africa, says: "STT’s system was installed in Standard Bank Namibia about four and a half years ago, so we had the opportunity to test the solution in appropriate conditions. We are already seen as a specialist provider throughout the continent. The automated solution has allowed us to create a tighter focus on custody and creates the platform on which we can offer our clients value-added products, such as investment administration and trustee services. In addition, it has allowed us to improve communication and consistency of service. Investors who do business with us are assured of reliably high service standards wherever they may be investing on the continent."

STT has been in business since 1985 and is the IT architect of the JSE Securities Exchange’s new interest rate exchange, Yield X. It does not sell its software, but sells a licence for its use. This policy encourages long-term partnerships and ensures that the solution never becomes redundant, as all upgrades and customisation are included in the licence.

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