Photo moment during the reveal event

Standard Chartered Bank Uganda held a thought leadership event to discuss business immersion in Sustainable Trade Finance for over 100 corporate and SME business leaders at Sheraton Hotel.

The Sustainable Trade Finance Event and the Straight2Ban Next Gen platform launch were presided over by Hon. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Co-operatives and Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo the State Minister for ICT and National Guidance, respectively.

The Standard Chartered Bank Business immersion on Sustainable Trade Finance event flagged off the evening by drawing the attention of all stakeholders to the urgency to flatten the curve of greenhouse gas emissions and bring them down to Net zero to avert a climate pandemic.

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The Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Co-operatives David Bahati said every individual should play a part to combat the effects of climate change through change of our habits and lifestyle to reduce our personal carbon footprint.

 “The banking, finance and investment communities play a critical role in facilitating investments in renewable energy solutions and carbon neutral technologies. We are happy to see Standard Chartered Bank taking the lead on the journey towards Net zero emissions through business awareness symposiums such as this and extending robust sustainable Trade Finance solutions to the Business community in Uganda. Through sustainable Trade Financing solutions, we should see growth in the supply and demand for green investments,” he said.

Patrick Makau, the Executive Principal, the Standard Chartered Head of Trade and Working Capital Kenya and East Africa said they have taken the responsibility for the progress in our communities and that is why they are advocating for sustainable finance.

He said the bank has a proven track record of innovation across Trade Finance and Sustainable Finance with several global awards to reinforce our role in financing major energy, telecoms, mining and infrastructure projects to growing businesses and building communities.

“With consumers, investors and governments increasingly focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics, there is a growing impact on global supply chain activities. We understand that Sustainability is increasingly at the forefront of your respective business strategies so by deploying our sustainable financing solutions, you can now complement your sustainable procurement and your own sustainable agenda with our tailor-made sustainable trade finance offering. As a leader in trade and sustainable finance, we are here to help you achieve your sustainability goals,” he said.

Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the State Minister for ICT and National Guidance then led the participants on a Networking tour of the experiential booths that demonstrated the Straight2Bank NextGen platform capabilities before settling down for the unveiling cocktail event.

At the Straight2Bank NextGen launch event, the Standard Chartered Bank Uganda Board Chairperson – Mrs. Maria Kiwanuka said one of the Bank’s STANDs of Lifting Participation aims to improve the lives of one billion people and their communities globally, by unleashing the full potential of women and lifting participation of Small Businesses in our core markets by providing access to finance, networks, training young people, driving accessible banking at scale and connecting affluent clients to opportunities for making a societal impact.

“The Straight2Bank Next Gen solution we are unveiling today will enable women and youth led SME’s access the best digital business banking solutions to grow their businesses in a fast, smart and easier way,” she said.

She said the bank aims at supporting 500,000 companies globally to improve working and environmental standards and giving everyone the chance to participate in the world economy, so growth becomes fairer and more balanced.

Sanjay Rughani the Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Uganda has kept on innovating after taking into account itss clients’ feedback which informed an upgrade to Straight2Bank Corporate platform to the newly unveiled Straight2Bank NextGen platform which mainly focuses on security, convenience and digitizing of Trade Finance and Payments.

The Next Gen platform boasts of superior capabilities and efficiencies that make it; Simpler, faster, offering a better customer experience, Improved convenience, Customizable features, Improved efficiency and Improved TAT for system capability among others.

“We have a three-pronged innovation approach to differentiate, disrupt growth and transform the Bank to achieve our goals and these include transforming our core via digitisation, leveraging partnerships to drive scale and extend reach as we build new business models to create value.”

Earlier Ssebugwawo said Banks are one of the biggest drivers and consumers of IT as they become increasingly reliant on heavily skilled technologists to instruct IT systems and invest in systems. Such usage and investments are inevitably driving improvements in banks’ digital systems and as banks continue to invest smartly in digitization, they are reaping massive rewards.

“I therefore call upon Standard Chartered Bank to continue investing in up-skilling their workforce to keep up with new trends and ably support clients navigate the various challenges they face as they adapt to using these platforms. We need you to be a leader in sharing best practice, reduce the cost of doing business for clients and undertake continuous financial literacy to help the entire sector catch up. One of the other critical digitization challenges is around security. There is a need to combine convenience with rigor in the customer verification procedures,” she said.