13 September 2018 | Bankwese

Millions for BBEE vendors

SBN sustainability report

The bank values preferential BBEE procurement as means of growing the Namibian economy. – Standard Bank Namibia

Jo-Mare Duddy – Standard Bank Namibia (SBN) spent N$141 million or nearly 21.6% of its total procurement spent of N$655 million in 2017 with broad-based economic empowerment (BBEE) suppliers.

This is lower than the nearly 32% in 2016 and below the target of 30% of the Namibian Financial Sector Charter (NFSC), according to Standard Bank Namibia’s sustainability report released on Tuesday. In 2016, the group’s total procurement spend was N$424 million, of which N$135 million landed in the pockets of BBEE vendors.

In 2015, the percentage of total procurement spend with BBEE vendors was 35%.

“The bank values preferential BBEE procurement as means of growing the Namibian economy,” the report states.

According to the report, SBN used 435 suppliers in total in 2017, down from 471 the year before and 536 in 2015.

Commenting on concerns raised by suppliers, the SBN report mentions timely payment and more transparency in the procurement process.

“We are investigating ways to improve our vendor payment process; we have streamlined our internal processes and increased our supplier engagements to address their queries and concerns better. If a BBEE supplier is experiencing cash-flow problems, we consider the feasibility of making pre-payments,” the report states.

Staff empowerment

The bank employed 1 729 people last year. Its total salary bill was N$723 million, about N$60 million or 9% more than in 2016.

In 2016 and 2015, SBN’s employment grew by about 2.1% and nearly 7.6% respectively.

Nearly 60% of all SBN employees in 2017 were women. In 2016 and 2015 it was more than 58%.

With 64% of executive management being BBEE, SBN has last year comfortably exceeded the NFSC target of 25%. The representation of BBEE women beneficiaries stood at five. This equates to 35% of all executives compared to the NFSC requirement of 10%.

In middle, junior and senior management, the bank’s BBEE representation was 71% against the NFSC target of 30%. BBEE women in these management categories stood 27.6%, above the NFSC requirement of 10%.

“We have not only complied, but in most cases exceeded all NFSC targets, including those of 2019,” the report states.

It adds that all permanent employees of SBN have access to shares in the bank.

SBN spent N$10.01 million on training last year compared to N$10 million the previous year and N$5.8 million in 2015. As a percentage of its staff payroll, training last year was 1.67%, compared to 1.27% in 2016 and 1.0% in 2015.

90% of the bank’s employees belong to a union, up from 79% in 2016.