Standard Bank, which also trades as Stanbic Bank, forms part of one of Africa’s leading financial services groups, the Standard Bank Group Limited, a South African company with more than 50,000 employees worldwide. A longtime supporter of education, health and development on the continent, the bank added malaria to its portfolio of social investments in 2010, joining corporate partners and United Against Malaria to end a disease that costs Africa an estimated USD 12 billion in lost gross domestic product every year.
Standard Bank reports that its employees typically miss one to five days of work per malaria episode and a similar period when caring for sick children, costing the equivalent of USD 6 million in 2009. That same year its insurance company Liberty Blue processed more malaria-related claims than anything else, signifying further erosion of profits.
To reign in losses and help save lives, Standard Bank implemented a strategy that incorporated the four pillars of the UAM campaign. It created interactive learning tools on its health care portals and social media sites to educate its global workforce and customers. It distributed 11,000 insecticide-treated nets to protect staff in 15 malaria-endemic markets. And it provided workers with UAM bracelets and education materials to raise the visibility of the campaign in their home countries.
The bank then took its efforts to the public. On World Malaria Day, it staged community net distributions across Africa. Teaming up with South African corporate partners Nando’s and MTN, it also promoted the UAM bracelet campaign and raised funds for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Across the continent, it aims to link its sponsorship of the Africa Cup of Nations to UAM for greater visibility.
Clive Tasker, Standard Bank Africa’s CEO, says making the right connections with customers means going out to as many stakeholders as possible and finding solutions to the obstacles and challenges they face. “Malaria threatens the livelihood of our staff and customers. Fighting side by side with NGOs and government institutions against this disease is important to show we care for them not just as customers, but as fellow Africans,” he says.
Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa
Market: 17 African countries (33 worldwide)
Employees: 45,000 in Africa (of 50,000+)
Industry: Financial services
Challenge: To combat malaria-related productivity loss in Africa
Education: Malaria education sessions run by internal, trained wellness champions for 11,000 at-risk employees; education tools and materials for all staff
Protection: 11,000 nets distributed to at-risk employees; more than 15,000 nets distributed to community members in malaria-endemic regions
Visibility: Cross-sponsorship of UAM and CAF; support for UAM bracelet campaign; local billboards; print and digital advertising; use of social media
Advocacy: Corporate partnership with Nando’s, MTN and others; community outreach throughout sub-Saharan Africa