Access to financial services

Access to financial services

At Standard Chartered, we are committed to the development of the markets in which we operate and to making a positive contribution to the societies where we live and work.

With more than three billion people currently estimated to lack access to the banking services required to support economic activity we are working to provide access to finance that will help overcome the barriers to development.

One of the ways that we are contributing to greater financial inclusion is to stimulate grassroots economic development in the markets within our geographic footprint. Standard Chartered encourages the growth of the microfinance industry by working with microfinance institutions (MFIs) and providing them with support and technical assistance to build capacity and become financially sustainable, commercial businesses.

We are in a strong position to meet our 2006 Clinton Global Initiative target of providing $500 million of credit to MFIs within five years, with more than half the commitment achieved by the end of 2008.

Complementing this effort, we continue to lead the growth of the Islamic finance industry in many of our markets. Our Islamic finance products and services, in both Consumer and Wholesale Banking, are Shariah-compliant. In 2008, we established our first fully-owned Islamic finance subsidiary, in Malaysia.

In December 2008, at the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative, Asia, Standard Chartered committed to a women’s empowerment programme to enhance financial literacy, financial planning, investment and capacity building for women owners of small businesses. We aim to reach 5,000 women in the region by 2011.

“ACCION International has long felt that international banks can best encourage the broader reach of microfinance institutions by providing what they know best: financing and investment banking expertise. That’s exactly the strategy chosen by Standard Chartered Bank. We salute Standard Chartered as well for its important role in building capacity within the industry with seminars and training that brings together key stakeholders in microfinance, particularly investors and microfinance providers, to both learn from one another and co-create strategies for growth. In the end, it is the poor that benefit by increased access to a wide array of financial services.” Maria Otero,
President and CEO, ACCION International

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Committing to contributing to the Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight overarching goals that aim to respond to the world’s most pressing development challenges by 2015. In 2008, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, invited global leaders to join forces at the MDG Business Call to Action. The purpose was to get companies to commit to assist with accelerating progress of the MDGs by adapting their core businesses to help meet the goals.

Standard Chartered’s commitment, announced by Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands, will provide innovative financial products, skills development, business mentoring and research to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fulfil their growth potential.

The SME sector is the engine of growth for economies worldwide and makes up the vast majority of businesses. However, in many parts of the world, these SMEs are too large to qualify either as micro-enterprises or for donor support, and too small to be targeted by most commercial banks. The result is that they are chronically under-served.

We believe that encouraging SMEs to thrive will create wealth, by employing more people and paying more taxes.


  • $385min credit and financial instruments to microfinance institutions
  • 52microfinance partners in our markets
  • 5new markets with microfinance partners
The Banker Logo Awards

The Banker Commendations 2008 – Banking the Unbanked

The Banker Commendations 2008 – Best Corporate Finance

The Banker Commendations 2008 – Best Overall bank