The State Bank of Mauritius Group (SBM) is a leading financial services group in Mauritius with a growing international presence. It provides all services of a universal bank within a diversified business model. The lines of business include: Retail Banking, Small and Medium Enterprises, Wealth Management & Private Banking, Corporate Banking and International Banking & Global Business, Treasury services, eBusiness, Fiduciary services, Asset Financing, Stockbrocking and Asset Management. SBM started operations in 1973 and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in 1995. Innovation, flexibility, accessibility and reliability are the key attributes that have contributed to the Group’s reputation and trustworthiness. Owned by nearly 17,000 domestic and international shareholders, SBM has more than 1,200 employees and services over 340,000 customers through its network of 48 service units and counters in Mauritius, India and Madagascar. Going forward, the Group is laying greater emphasis on international operations as well as non-banking activities. The SBM brand value also benefits from continued investment in people, infrastructure and technology.
SBM is well entrenched in the domestic banking landscape with a diversified and loyal customer base, serviced through a large branch network by employees who are being made more responsive to evolving client needs. Besides a broad range of savings, investment and financing products, in both local and foreign currency, SBM offers a large portfolio of cards, designed to suit needs of specific customer segments. Innovation and market insights continue to drive product development. In line with the Group’s diversification strategy and in view of market trends, the Group is now looking to further develop its Small and Medium Enterprise business as well as Wealth Management & Private Banking services.
SBM’s Wealth Management and Private Banking is specialised in providing tailor-made financial planning solutions, investment advice and services to corporates, high net worth individuals and families, both locally and abroad. The unit offers increased interactions between the Private Banking, Asset Management and Securities departments by providing discretionary investment management as well as execution only services, banking and credit solutions, advice in all areas of financial planning and wealth structuring and offers a large range of products and services related to wealth management. It also measures portfolio performance and provides customised reports to enable better tracking by customers, especially those pursuing multiple investment strategies.
The Corporate Banking and International Banking & Global Business Divisions of the Group, through their growing team of professionals, provide comprehensive financial solutions to their business customers across geographical borders and industrial portfolios. These include traditional banking products, transactional banking services, asset finance, commercial loan and working capital finance, structured finance, structured trade finance and project finance, in both local and foreign currencies.
We also provide banking services to Global Business Customers and are involved in cross-border transactions. The share of Global Business and Cross Border transactions has steadily risen over the past few years and, in line with the Group’s strategic objectives, is set to increase further over the medium term.
In addition with the Group’s presence in India and Madagascar, the International Banking & Global Business Division is able to provide tailor- made solutions to customers present in these jurisdictions.
Treasury activities at SBM encompass different financial products including foreign exchange, money market, fixed income and commodities trading. The Group’s professional and dynamic treasury team offers an array of services to customers, from up-to-date market information and advice to timely execution of deals. Products offered to customers range from basic spot, forward and swap transactions to currency options and structured deposits, tailored to the requirements of our customers. In addition to the Group’s core Mauritian operations, treasury services are also provided in India and Madagascar.
In line with its spirit of innovation, the Group has invested in state-of-the-art technology to place multiple, reliable and sophisticated electronic delivery channels at the service of its customers for convenient banking from anywhere on a 24/7 basis. These channels include an eCommerce platform, internet and mobile phone banking services as well as an extensive network of Point of Sales and Automated Teller Machines. Capitalising on superior technology, SBM has introduced a number of innovative products in the eBusiness segment. SBM has also invested considerably in risk management infrastructure to provide a safe and secure platform for its customers.
The Bank has a well-diversified credit portfolio, whether by segment or by industry group. International business expansion is also helping the Group to further spread the risk in its books. The Group’s risk management structure is independent from the business generating areas to avoid conflicts of interest, and is overseen by the Board of Directors. The Risk Management Unit ensures adherence to regulatory norms and the risk appetite limits and recommends changes to the set risk parameters and limits. The risk management capabilities are supported by good management information systems, a solid internal rating system and robust policies.
The Group’s people strategy is at the heart of its growth objectives. SBM employs more than 1,200 staff in Mauritius, India and Madagascar. These employees are core to the organisation in providing quality service to customers, thus generating sustainable business and building the brand. As a key source of competitive advantage, human capital has gained increasing importance notably through a clear programme of retention, motivation, training and reward.
True to its philosophy of being close to its customers, SBM was the first bank to establish branches in the rural areas, thereby establishing a national branch network. SBM is also rightly recognised for its lead in technology. It was the first bank in Mauritius to introduce the Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) chip card technology, TopUp (mobile phone recharge) and Mobile Banking as well as the first eCommerce portal. The Bank has also introduced, under its brand name «SBM eSecure», enhanced security standards for internet transactions through the implementation of «Verified by Visa» and MasterCard «SecureCode» services. Besides, SBM is the preferred Visa partner in Mauritius. Using market insights and critical thinking, the Bank aims to continuously offer innovative products and services to meet the needs of its growing customer base.
SBM continues to be recognised, both in Mauritius and internationally, for superior achievements. Recent recognition includes the following awards:
- SBM has been awarded "Best Retail Bank in Africa" by African Banker Awards 2014
- SBM has been awarded "Best Bank, Mauritius : 2013" by Capital Finance International (CFI.co)
- SBM has been awarded "Best Bank in Mauritius" in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2013
- SBM won the award for Corporate Governance Disclosures for the PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Reporting Awards 2013
- SBM has been conferred the award of "Best Bank Mauritius : 2012" by Capital Finance International (CFI.co)
- SBM has been elected as top rated Bank in Mauritius for its range of investment products and first in servicing of clients in the High Net Worth category by the annual Euromoney Private Banking Survey 2012
- SBM won the award in the Risk Management Disclosures category for the PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Reporting Awards 2012
- SBM has been designated Best Local Bank by the annual Euromoney Private Banking Survey 2011
- SBM won the Best Private Bank Award by the African Banking Awards 2010 presented by Emeafinance
- SBM won the Online Reporting category for the PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Reporting Awards 2011
- SBM has been awarded the 'Overall Winner' in the BDO CSR Awards 2010 as well as the 'Winner' in the Education and Sports category.
Moody's Investors Service continues to rate SBM the highest amongst its peers in Mauritius: Baa1 for global local currency deposits, Baa1/P-2 for foreign currency deposits, Baa1 for foreign currency issuer rating and C- for Bank Financial Strength ratings.
SBM firmly believes that sustainable growth can only be achieved in partnership with the community in which it operates. SBM Group ploughs back 2% of its profits annually in the community through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The areas of intervention of SBM are: Health & Wellness, Education, Environment, Sports, Leisure & Arts and the Empowerment of vulnerable groups, all of which have an educational dimension. Education is key for the development of the individual and the country. The ultimate goal is to combat social ills and poverty by providing the opportunity to vulnerable groups to acquire skills so as to be economically independent. SBM also fosters a culture of volunteering among staff through awareness, opportunities and company support.
Equality translates our recognition of the close interlink between all economic agents, in whatever role they may be, and of the importance to ensure that people are treated justly and given fair chances. Within the Group, we are committed to equal opportunity policies and strive to become the preferred employer of choice by providing growth opportunities to employees and investing in staff welfare. In addition to our internal policies which promote equality at all levels, the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme is aimed at improving opportunities and participation within the community at large. Diversity, for its part, challenges established practices and, hence, pushes the Group 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 the Group grow into a stronger and more balanced organisation. To further our commitment as an Equality & Diversity champion, SBM has symbolically earmarked four of our national festivals, namely Chinese Spring Festival, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Divali and Christmas, which are celebrated with staff and customers through various initiatives.