State Bank of Mauritius Forward into the future

State Bank of Mauritius Forward into the future
  • PublishedJuly 18, 2014

Established in 1973, the State Bank of Mauritius Ltd (SBM) is a leading financial services institution in Mauritius, and also present in India, Madagascar and Myanmar. SBM is the second-largest listing on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, with a market capitalisation of more than $1bn as at 30th June 2014.

 In Mauritius, SBM has a strong franchise with a market share of over 20% in domestic advances and deposits. It caters for a wide range of customer segments including Personal, SME, Corporate, Cross Border and Financial Institutions. 

SBM adopts a universal banking model, offering an extensive suite of products and services that encompass deposits, lending, trade finance, cards, leasing, treasury, insurance and investment products, as well as a range of payment services. It also has multichannel capabilities including branches, ATMs, POS, internet, mobile and call centre.

In India, SBM operates four branches, serving mainly a corporate client base with a small share of retail segment clients, especially for deposit products. Besides deposits, services include lending, treasury, and cash and trade transaction services. SBM’s subsidiary in Madagascar operates two branches, serving a client base consisting of Mauritian companies having operations in Madagascar, large multinationals, exporters, large reputable local companies and institutional investors. The product range comprises advances, deposits and transactions processing as well as Internet banking services. SBM also has a representative office in Myanmar.

Building on its strengths and success in Mauritius, SBM plans to expand in targeted geographies in the region, namely in East Africa, India, neighbouring South East Asian countries, Indian Ocean Islands and the Middle East (Dubai). It is currently building its capabilities in line with the growth ambitions.

SBM’s business operations are supported by sophisticated technology. A major technology transformation programme is currently under way to significantly enhance customer service and operational efficiency. SBM has a robust risk management framework and is compliant with Basel II as well as Basel III.

In line with regulatory developments, the SBM Group has embarked on a restructuring exercise, in which the Group would be reorganised into three clusters: a banking cluster; a nonbanking financial cluster; and a nonfinancial cluster.

This is intended to segregate the non-banking and banking activities and ring fence capital. This restructuring would entail the creation of a new entity, SBM Group Holdings Ltd, with three distinct segments: SPV-SBM (Bank) Holdings Ltd for banking activities; SPV-SBM (NBFC) Holdings Ltd for non-banking financial activities; and SPV-SBM (NFC) Holdings Ltd for non-financial investments.

Awards and recognition

SBM’s sound fundamentals and strong prospects have earned it recognition at both local and international levels.Moody’s Investors Service rates SBM’s long-term foreign currency deposit at Baa1. SBM is also the first and only Mauritian bank to attain a Bank Financial Strength Rating of C- as from 2007.

SBM was ranked among the Top 1,000 World Banks by The Banker magazine. Among these large banks, SBM ranks within the top 150 globally and first in Mauritius  in respect of qualitative parameters such as return on capital, return on assets and capital to assets ratio.  

SBM has received many awards including the Bank of the Year – Mauritius award from The Banker in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2013; the Best Bank – Mauritius award in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2013; and the Best Bank – Mauritius award from emeafinance in 2009.

It was awarded Best Bank Mauritius by Capital Finance International (CFI.co) two years running, in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, SBM was recognised as Best Bank in Mauritius by three prestigious international financial magazines and, in 2014, SBM was awarded Best Retail Bank in Africa by African Banker magazine.

SBM also earned recognition from regional and domestic organisations and institutions, including the Best Financial Reporting and Corporate Governance awards from PwC Mauritius (Overall Winner – 1999, 2000; Banks/Insurance Companies – 2002; Finance – 2005; Online Reporting – 2011; Risk Management Disclosures – 2012; Corporate Governance Disclosures – 2013).

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy focuses on economic empowerment and combating poverty through education. In addition, SBM also fosters a culture of volunteering among staff through awareness, opportunities and company support. It contributed around $1.3m to CSR projects in 2013. 

One of SBM’s key CSR projects is the unique SBM Scholarship Scheme for bright and needy students, including disabled students, run independently under The SBM Education Fund. 
At December 2013, SBM had awarded more than 1,000 scholarships for tertiary  and vocational courses.

SBM’s efforts in the CSR field have earned it the Overall Winner of the BDO CSR Awards 2010 as well as Winner of the Education and Sports category.

Equality and diversity Programme

Equality exemplifies SBM’s recognition of the close links between all economic agents, whatever their role, and of the importance of ensuring that people are treated justly and given fair chances. In addition to SBM’s internal policies, which promote equality at all levels, its CSR programme is aimed at improving opportunities and participation within the community at large.

Diversity challenges established practices and thus pushes SBM to strive for the best in everything it does. Whether in terms of customers, employees, business segments, revenue streams, risks or ideas, diversity generates self-reinforcing dynamics, which help SBM grow into a stronger and balanced organisation. 

Written By
African Banker Magazine

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