Standard Chartered is leaving Zimbabwe but its not happening overnight

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Standard Chartered, youth startup challenge leaving Zimbabwe

Standard Chartered has announced that it will be pulling out of Zimbabwe as well as Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone. Additionally, the bank will be scaling down operations in Tanzania and Ivory Coast, focusing only on corporate banking. The reason for the complete departure (and scaling back) from these markets, according to a report by Reuters, is they made up only 1% of Standard Chartered’s total income for 2021.

“We are sharpening our focus on the most significant opportunities for growth while also simplifying our business. We remain excited by a number of opportunities we see in the AME region, as illustrated by our new markets, but remain disciplined in our assessment of where we can deliver significantly improved shareholder returns. We are grateful to our colleagues and partners in each of these impacted markets for their hard work and dedication and are committed to supporting them through this transition.”

Bill Winters, Standard Bank Chief Executive (via ShareCast)

This departure by Standard Chartered ends a 130-year presence in Zimbabwe and its deja vu because in 2017 Barclays chose to pull out of markets (including Zimbabwe) which it had a decades-old relationship with. And much like Barclays, this isn’t going to happen overnight.

It’s a statement of intent…

News like this isn’t the best because everyone will begin to worry about the money they have in their Standard Chartered Bank accounts… However, the bank has a responsibility to its clients as well as local financial authorities and it would not want to sully its name nor put itself in a difficult position with its customers.

Similar to what happened with Barclays, there is most likely going to be an exit strategy for Standard Chartered in Zimbabwe and the other markets. If you remember back in the mid-2010s when Barclays decided to exit Zimbabwe, it chose to sell its outpost in the country to Malawi’s First Merchant Bank which led us to having First Capital Bank.

It doesn’t (at this point) look like Standard Chartered is going to be taking this route, however, we can expect new details to emerge about how customers, employees and other stakeholders are going to proceed.

Could the closure of branches have been a sign?

In a report by The Herald from 2014, Standard Chartered announced that it was going to be scaling back its physical presence by closing six branched and retrenching 100 employees. Moreover, StanChart embarked on a digitisation drive in 2018 -2019, way before the pandemic where it offered branchless services to its customers not only in Zimbabwe but in Ivory Coast.

Standard Chartered Responds To Some Of The Questions You May Have Regarding Their Fully Digital Bank

Hindsight is 20/20 and suggests that this might have been something that StanChart had been mulling over for some time but we can’t know that for sure. However, on the business end, if a set of markets are making a combined 1%, it’s hard to argue with the decision to pull out.

Overheads mount and if there is no improvement in sight an exit might be the only course of action. Added to that Zimbabwe is an economic conundrum that is a headache for most…

For now, we will have to wait and see what Standard Chartered’s exit strategy is going to look like and how it will affect its employees and customers.

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  1. Kiddy Bank Club

    How many legacy banks are left? Seems like all the banks I grew up with are gone except for POSB! Speaking of which, I think I still have my childhood POSB book! Wonder if the account is still open 😂

    1. Kiddy Bank Club

      Thanks Wikipedia. So not counting the renamed banks, it’s just CABS, Stanbic Bank, and People’s Own Savings Bank? I kinda laughed it off when my folks joked about not recognizing zim anymore but seriously, it’s just empty land marks now! The names they knew are gone🙆🏾‍♂️

  2. DK

    The foreign banks àlways return customers’ money, to the last cent, unlike the local banks which leave with customers’ money. The foreign banks which had been around for decades supported the farmers to a greater extent, and also industry. Unlike the present where banks survive and make super profits which leave the depositor poorer, these banks thrived mostly on interest from loans. One wonders whether we still have real banks and banking.

    1. Kiddy Bank Club

      The comparisons between branches in normal economies Vs the zim ones must have been interesting!

  3. Pink Panther

    Is it Ok to masturbate once everyday? I need some medical advice on behalf of my best friend. 17 y/o

    1. D

      Masturbation is not a clean and Godly act. Regardless of how medical science may try and justify, there is also spiritual science/law. It is most often practiced watching pornography which is a very very dark and addictive vice that absolutely will corrupt morals and defile a person’s spirit. When one is masturbating, they are making spiritual contact and covenants with evil demonic entities that will be given certain permissions upon one’s life and things. The end result is confusion, guilt, Darkness, a wounded and contaminated spirit, despair, unexplained failures, demonic possession, violence, depression, spiritual oppression, sadness, spiritual bondage and a darkened mind. With the attendant pornography, one is consuming filth upon his life and spirit. The acts and actors are most often making such acts as part of occultic practices and covenants, witchcrafts, spiritual wickedness in high places. It is an evil altar where Wicken spirits are given legal rights to infest the life of the watcher. It is strongly advised to stay away from masturbation and the attendant act of viewing pornography. It is a deadly vice to capture a soul and influence the powers of darkness upon such a life. Your asking is healthy as it may be influenced by some light or negative spiritual consequences. If you are stuck and captured, seek professional and spiritual help to break the spiritual chains of Darkness that may be placed upon your life. There is hope in Christ. Flee from pornograghy and masterbation. You can only be free from it by properly invoking the power of Christ who is your Advocate to redeem you from the vice. However it takes personal effort. Go seek help.

      1. A man saved on TechZim

        Thanks for the comment . Literally I was thinking in mind that after reading this article I will watch some p**n and jack off.

    2. D

      No it is not okay for you to masturbate. The Act is impure and not of God. It is usually attended to by the act of viewing pornographic materials which is a serious and deadly vice. Such acts though the world may on medical grounds justify them, but on spiritual laws comprise a breaking of spiritual law of God. When one master step and fantasies through pornography, they are actually engaged in or making contact with demonic forces upon an evil spiritual altar. Such powers of darkness would be given legal right to infest the life of the person. Results are, a darkened and defiled mind, unexplained failures, spiritual captivity and oppression, misery, Darkness,violence, quick to lose temper and anger, sadness, spiritual chains of bondage, eroded morals, guilt, shame, violent thoughts and behaviour and readies that soul for demonic possession if the person is addicted and makes unrelentless contact with evil. This is spiritual and evil forces exist on the spiritual realm. Your asking maybe a sign that you are experiencing these things. You need to seek for help and save your life from spiritual contamination from evil. The power of Christ can break the chains and free you from such demonic powers and acts.

      1. ;

        When did god tell you not to masturbate? Please don’t tell me it’s in the big book that you don’t even know where it came from. Our ancestors were killed, tortured and enslaved by those missionaries. We can’t let them keep on torturing us mentally even after independence. We need to believe in our ancestors!

        1. D

          Masterbation is not good. The organs used for procreation must be respected and used for the purposes by which the Creator intended them. They must not be abused or used for unnatural acts. Although I do believe in respecting other people’s beliefs, however I do not believe in or agree to ancestral worship. With my beliefs, together with their leader Lucifer, they are fallen spirits that were cast out from the presence of God by Micheal who opposed God and His Christ’s government of heaven. They are not equal to the Man of Holiness, who is unmatched in power, honor and glory.

        2. E

          What D said is fact. The Bible doesn’t have anything to do with white people who colonized us. The bible still remains the truth. I too respect other people’s religions, but factually ancestral spirit worship is just demonic worship. Now going back to masturbation, all that D explained is 100% correct. By masturbating, you’re giving the devil legal rights to torment you on a spiritual level. You shouldn’t be masturbating, nor should you be watching pornography.

  4. Efraim Deveroli

    What happened to the best commentators we used to have? The likes of Sagitarr, Imi Vanhu Musadaro, Macd Chip, TheKing, wokenman, Kilotango and many others

  5. Tadiwa Masinga


  6. Magwere Mambishi

    The primitivity is clearly nausea inducing. Here is a serious matter involving economics and the implications to a whole country and region.

    Comes geniuses with their priorities firmly transfixed on masturbation. Then you start to understand why some aren’t very far off monkeys on the human evolution index.

  7. Gibson Chibudu

    Banks are closing! Time for the young boy to get into power. We as a people are tired of poor government policymakers. This government of ours is very weak minded. They keep on printing valueless notes. Wasting a lot of money doing things that won’t benefit anyone except themselves. Their stomachs are becoming too big. It looks like pregnant men. Such greediness should end!

  8. 2434

    With their mvt to paperless and ridiculous banking charges in general I’m surprised they made no high could their overheads really be.they only have 6 branches.the probable reason is they have been given an absolute win to buy out or they have no faith,understandably, in this economy

    1. Parasitic Appendage

      I think it’s an issue of perspective. A local bank would probably love to make what Standard makes, but compared to the SC group at large, the Zim division was likely hard pressed to justify their existence.

  9. Well2Well Africa

    Zimbos never seize to spook me out @ self and Country hate-article clearly says Stan Chart has made a strategic business decision to withdraw from certain unprofitable markets(Barclays gave same reason)but guess what, certain unpatriotic countrymen now make a mad dash to turn a purely business solution into a political fire fight-what for really.
    That song that says elections are not won on whatsapp is a classic example of what is happening in the minds of these selfish selfhaters- please get it and get it real good @ 🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼 will never ever be a Colony again.
    Go ahead and continue to dream away as you fail to enjoy your existence where ever you are @ “and happiness eluded him or her too” because he dreamt the impossible.
    God Loves Zimbabwe and Africa-just look at the low Covid 19 illness and deaths and all this dispite their evil spirited efforts to induce fear and disaster on us .
    Its as clear as day and night that the haters have totally failed to kill of a small landlocked County infested and infected by desperate sellouts-to God be the Glory always.

    1. Shamiso

      Please don’t tell me your meaningless statistics on covid because my father died last year and noone can ever replace him. I hate such people like you who are so idiotic.

    2. 50 Bond Army

      Wow. Economies don’t exist in vacuums. Political actions have economical consequences. As you stroke the egos of whatever parties you support, don’t ever lose sight of this simple fact.

    3. Home schooled

      Patriotic does not mean to support a certain party that rules blindly, being patriotic is telling were its wrong!!!. Stanchart has exited the Zim market because Zim market its not making 1% revenue for the bank. In Zambia Stanchart is not exiting, it is actually expanding. Its not self hate to say the economy is bad due to decisions being made.

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