Standard Chartered is the oldest international bank with a long and distinguished history in Sierra Leone since1894. The bank used to take care of government funds and handled currency on behalf of the West African Currency Board prior to the establishment of the Central Bank in 1964.
Leading by example to be the right partner for its stakeholders, the Bank is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. It has 3 branches and employs nearly 150 people, nearly half of whom are women.
Standard Chartered Sierra Leone Limited is the leading foreign bank in terms of trading profit in the country. Its business operations in Sierra Leone continue to win Banking Excellence awards from the prestigious Banker Award of the Financial Times in London, four years consecutively, 2004; 2005; 2006 and 2007.
Through our sustainable business agenda, Standard Chartered continues to demonstrate our strong commitment to governance, environmental protection and long-term socio-economic growth and development in Sierra Leone.
Our very active community partnership program in place continues to address pressing needs in the health, education and environment sectors and we have won recognition for it. Some of the projects we have undertaken include; the building of the skills training centre for the Blind school in Freetown; the building of the skills training centre for Hanci in Bo; the refurbishment of the Bo Cheshire Home, and the building of the Wellington Orphanage (in collaboration with DFID).
The Bank in 2004 launched the Bo Hospital Project, to complement Government’s effort in ensuring quality health care service delivery in Sierra Leone and in 2006 handed over the newly constructed Outpatient Unit of the Bo Hospital to the Government. The Bo Government Hospital Outpatient Wing is the single largest project ever undertaken by a corporate institution in Sierra Leone, which cost the Bank Le400,000,000(Four hundred Million Leones).
To drive our Seeing Is Believing initiative, the Bank in 2004 organised the Freetown Marathon and proceeds were donated to Sight Savers International to carry out sight restoration operations in 2005. A total of 1,600 sight restoration operations were successfully performed in the Southern and Eastern Provinces, and in the Western Area of Sierra Leone.
In 2007 the Bank donated USD161, 026 to Helen Keller International, to support the elimination of avoidable blindness in Sierra Leone, through our ‘Seeing is Believing’ programme. Part of the funds donated, is complementing Government & UNICEF’s efforts in organizing Nationwide Vitamin A Distribution Campaigns. Staff of the Bank through our Employee Volunteering programme also participated in these campaigns and distributed the Vitamin A supplement to about 2000 children at the Kroo Bay and the Marbella (Doves Court) communities in Freetown in 2008/2009.
In 2008, we donated USD25, 000 worth of core text books in Braille format to The Milton Margai School for the Blind, to assist in eradicating the barriers faced with the education of the blind and visually impaired persons. Braille Books were presented to the School by Mike Hart, CEO Africa, during his two-day visit to Sierra Leone.
In 2008, our contribution to a sustainable environment in Sierra Leone was depicted in our planting of a 100 coconut trees along the Lumley Beach, a major touristic attraction which had lost all its coconut trees earlier.
Standard Chartered Sierra Leone Limited is also sponsoring a Management Express Forum in partnership with the British Council to promote management education programmes as part of its aim to advocate leadership development in Sierra Leone, for senior, middle and early career managers in both the private and the public sector. This is an on-going forum the Bank has sponsored since 2007.
In contribution to the Standard Chartered’s Group’s Clinton Global Initiative to educate 1 million people by the year 2010, the HIV Champion team of Standard Chartered Sierra Leone by the end of 2008 educated 2,500 students of The Annie Walsh Memorial School, The WAM Collegiate School, and National Center for Vocational Studies on the ‘Living With HIV ‘education programme.
The team in February 2009 organized a Train the Trainer workshop for 14 new champions recruited from two institutions, The Annie Walsh Memorial School and the National Centre for Vocational Studies to empower volunteers who have committed to partner with the Bank in our bid to educate 30,000 people on ‘Living With HIV ‘in Sierra Leone by 2010.
This year (2009) the Bank on its CSR Agenda, will undertake the following activities listed below:
- Refurbishment of the Orphans Homes at the SOS Village (to be commissioned in August 2009).
- Roll-out of Nets For life – A project aimed at making a difference in the fight against malaria in Africa. We would be educating the populace on the dangers of malaria and the importance of using long lasting treated bed nets and distribute 16,900 nets in the Freetown and Bo communities (in September 2009).
- Contribution to the nationwide Vitamin A distribution Campaign (June & November 2009 through our International Agency for Blindness Prevention partners - Helen Keller International) .