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Saturday, April 9, 2011

StanChart-the bank with a difference

With just a week's internship with StanChart(Financial Markets, Singapore), I am hardly qualified to discuss the bank with any level of analytical rigour. Still, initial impressions themselves are so vivid that I feel they deserve a mention even if they are revised later(which I hope they won't!).

  1. The very first training we had was on HIV/AIDS awareness, duly supplemented with a mandatory online training to be completed by all new joinees
  2. Even during campus presentations, StanChart was the only bank which devoted substantial airtime to to their social/CSR initiatives, and their recruitment strategy/other policies follow it. Right from separate bathrooms for the disabled(on all floors), to the number of stammerers/persons with disabilities in various sections of the bank, StanChart has displayed its heart by its actions
  3. Remuneration system includes an evaluation of how people live the bank's values
  4. 'Here for good'-promising that StanChart sticks by its customers during thick and thin-this was substantiated by its actions during the Dubai/African unrest when it stuck by its customers. Incidentally, it runs its Zimbabwe retail operations at a loss to support its customers who have few choices.
  5. With separate halal microwaves and fridges, the level of cultural sensitivity is amazing
  6. As a perusal of their 2010 Annual Report would show, they are the only bank to implement the sustainable lending principles('Equator Principles' in all lending areas(whereas other banks do it only for project finance). 
  7. Also, unlike some others trying for regulatory arbitrage of the new capital/remuneration norms, StanChart has adopted them in letter and spirit by raising capital in late 2010(even at a substantial haircut) and then following the FSA remuneration code.
  8. Also, this is a genuinely nice place with people uniformly pleasant and fun, and who are ever willing to help. I think the HR does look for this type!! I shall add to this post as the time progresses.  
  9. There is a real thought given to safety and recycling. For example, to avoid accidental burns by switching on the hot water tap, there is a safety button to be pressed to start the hot water flow. Also to encourage recycling, they do not have any individual dustbins. Employees have to use the 4 recycling bins for metals, plastics, paper and Misc.

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