Diasporian News of Friday, 15 March 2013
Source: Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank, which has a footprint in 18 African markets, today launched Heartland Banking, a banking solution that will enable African Diaspora residents to bank and accumulate wealth in their country of origin.
The product will target citizens of Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya who are currently resident in the United Kingdom. The UK is home to approximately 1.3 million people from the three countries.
"Diaspora residents retain a strong affinity with their country of origin and the majority express a desire to return home when they are established in their careers or wish to retire,” says Shalen Moodley, head of diaspora banking at Stanbic Bank.
Moodley points out that there is a compelling case for a banking solution such as the Heartland offering, given that research shows that personal remittances between the UK and the three countries in which Heartland is to be launched, is north of $3.2 billion for 2010 alone.
Moodley says the attraction of the Heartland offering lies in the way the proposition was developed by responding to the needs of the Diaspora target market. The comprehensive product offering, the simple pricing structures, competitive interest rates and the service elements make the offering quite unique and definitely compelling.
Stanbic has invested in the service model, ensuring that customer will have access to a dedicated Diaspora banker, a toll–free line in the UK, as well as enjoying hassle free convenient banking as an agent will come to your doorstep to pick up relevant documents for the account opening process. Holistically, this positions Stanbic to be a clear market leader for the African Diaspora Market.
Heartland offers savings, investment products and current accounts which are available in both local and foreign currencies, as well as mortgage product. Heartland's unique feature is that transactions can be conducted in a person's country of origin, in their local currency.
The Heartland current account still offers the basic remittance services that many people rely on to send money back home. Customers who already have UK-based bank accounts can transfer money into their Stanbic Bank Heartland current account by simply adding the account as a beneficiary on internet banking.
Through the Heartland savings account customers can also save towards a home, education, a holiday, a sabbatical in their home country, or merely diversify their savings portfolio. The deposits can be held in foreign or local currency depending on the extent of diversification and the customer's choice of currency exposure. The acquisition of property is the cornerstone of building wealth and the Heartland solution offers a mortgage product in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. This loan is secured against the property and carries no penalties for early settlement. The asset based lending and ease of account opening is arguably the most important feature of this product.
The Heartland current account is being offered as a product bundle to best meet the needs of the customer and if a specific balance is held in the account the fees will be waived completely.
Moodley says the competitively priced service and the comprehensive range of products will allow African citizens living in the UK to better manage their finances and contribute to the growing economies of their home countries.
Heartland Banking was introduced to the UK Diaspora last night during a cocktail reception at The Savoy hotel in London attended by over 120 senior level guests including fashion designer Ozwald Boateng.