JOHANNESBURG, 17 October: Standard Bank has partnered with Woolworths Holdings Limited to successfully execute the first sustainability-linked transactional deposit structure in South Africa.

The transactional deposit structure links the interest Woolworths earns on their deposits to the achievement of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets. The KPIs and sustainability performance targets (SPTs) agreed between Woolworths and Standard Bank, cover both Woolworths’ Food and Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) businesses, with a focus on increasing local sourcing of FBH products, a continued focus on sustainability attributes in food products and the reduction in electricity usage in corporate stores

“Following the success of signing up Woolworths as our first ESG-linked funding partner in the latter part of 2021, being first to market yet again in the conclusion of another milestone deal with Woolworths as our very first Sustainability-Linked Transactional Deposit client across South Africa is an incredible honour,” said Standard Bank Global Transactional Manager, consumer sector, Tania Troskie.

The deal marks a significant step in the sustainability journeys of both entities.

“In line with our vision to be one of the world’s most responsible retailers, we have already linked more than 80% of our drawn debt to specific sustainability attributes, and are very pleased to have now linked the other side of our balance sheet, our deposits, to these criteria as well. The conclusion of another benchmark sustainability-linked financing deal is not only testament to our commitment to making a meaningful difference for the greater good of the planet and its people, but the importance of collaborating with others in this cause for good” said Roy Bagattini, WHL Group CEO.

Over the past year, Standard Bank has also partnered with Woolworths to successfully initiate several ESG-linked deals, including a R1.15 billion loan and a R600m working capital facility – both of which are linked to the retailer’s sustainability targets.

“For Woolworths, Standard Bank has taken a holistic approach through our proposal for overlaying the ESG benefits in terms of deposits, in addition to the Working Capital funding that already exists. We recognise and acknowledge Woolworths for their continuous drive towards responsible corporate governance. Standard Bank is therefore providing Woolworths with preferential deposit interest rates for meeting agreed upon sustainability performance targets,” said Standard Bank Transactional Products and Services Head, Consumer sector, Justin Dhunraj.


About Standard Bank Group: 

Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets, operating in 20 African countries and 5 global financial centres. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.

Standard Bank has a 160-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.

Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.

The group has over 46 000 employees excluding Liberty, more than 1 143 branches and over 6 600 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management. 

Standard Bank Group Limited (SBG or group) headline earnings for the twelve months to 31 December 2021 (FY21) were R25.0 billion, Return on equity (ROE) was 13.5%. Standard Bank’s market capitalisation as of 31 December 2021 was R228 billion (USD14 billion).

The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.

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