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MEMBER PROFILES

Standard Chartered Bank

COMPANY OVERVIEW

Leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Standard Chartered PLC, listed on both London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, ranks among the top 25 companies in the FTSE-100 by market capitalisation. The London-headquartered Group has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets, leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its income and profits have more than doubled over the last five years primarily as a result of organic growth.

Standard Chartered aspires to be the best international bank for its customers across its markets. The Group earns around 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, from its Wholesale and Consumer Banking businesses. The Group has over 1600 branches and outlets located in over 70 countries. The extraordinary growth of its markets and businesses creates exciting and challenging international career opportunities.

Leading by example to be the right partner for its stakeholders, the Group is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. It employs around 70,000 people, nearly half of whom are women.

HIV/AIDS Profile

Standard Chartered Bank's mission is to reduce the number of new HIV infections globally by using education to encourage behavior change. The Bank does this in two key ways:

1)      By educating individuals, both internally and externally, about how to prevent the spread of HIV, through its award-winning Living with HIV programme.

2)      By supporting its own staff with a clearly defined non-discrimination policy on HIV and AIDS.

Standard Chartered will share, free of charge, all its award winning HIV education tools with other organizations who would like to implement a workplace HIV education programme.

Living with HIV

Standard Chartered developed its own award-winning education materials in partnership with experts to teach staff about the spread of the virus, and in 2003, rolled the programme out to its global network of employees.

At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, the Bank decided to spread the message externally as well and pledged to educate one million people on HIV/ AIDS by 2010. The Bank has over 1,000 staff members who have volunteered to be HIV Champions, using the Living with HIV Education materials to train internal staff and external partners on how to spread the message further.

In order to reach one million individuals, Standard Chartered Bank offers their award-winning HIV and AIDS education tool kit for free. An 'HIV Champion' will assist the company to develop a tailored workplace HIV education program which suits their needs as well as training employee volunteers within the company to become peer HIV educators. In return, the company has to agree to educate a certain number of people to contribute to the Bank's aim to educate one million by 2010. The tool kit is available in ten different languages. For more information, please contact Vanessa.Green@sc.com

In addition, Standard Chartered in 2009 launched an external website to educate young people, ages 15-24 - a high-risk for the spread of new infections - on HIV and AIDS. The site, www.vir.us is an animated eLearning website which provides a fun and interactive "edutainment" experience.  A series of videos follow "Mr HIV" as he plans to attack and destroy the human race. Viewers learn key facts about prevention and protection against HIV/AIDS as well as taking a brief test at the end of their journey following Mr HIV. To date, 70,000 of this age group have been educated.

These group-wide initiatives sit alongside the Bank's more localised efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS. These include

  • Work in India to educate long distance truck drivers and their families; a traditionally high risk group
  • Use of ATM machines in a number of markets (including Thailand, Malaysia and Dubai) to communicate HIV and AIDS information
  • High-profile visits and HIV events in Nigeria and Sri Lanka by senior executives and employees
  • A magazine-based publicity campaign in Singapore

Group Policy on HIV and AIDS

The first element of the Company's response to HIV/AIDS was the development in 1999 of a clearly defined non-discriminatory HIV/AIDS policy linked to the Bank's policy on the protection and enhancement of human rights in the workplace and equal opportunity regardless of color, race, gender and ethnicity. The policy incorporates procedures and practices for managing employees living with HIV/AIDS, treating them in the same way as those with other progressive or debilitating illnesses. While the policy and procedures are set at the Group level for all its global operations, they are flexible enough to enable branches to take account of local practices, procedure, culture and legislation. Key features of the Group policy include:

  • Non-disclosure: HIV + staff are not obliged to disclose their status
  • Non-discrimination: The Bank does not tolerate any form of discrimination or segregation
  • Prevention: Standard Chartered supports preventative behaviour and confidential testing
  • Care: The Bank will provide care and treatment of any employee living with HIV
  • Education: All staff on HIV and AIDS must complete the HIV e-learning on joining the Bank

Motivation for action

The origin of Standard Chartered Bank's response to HIV/AIDS stemmed largely from Country Managing Directors, particularly in Africa, seeking human resource policy advice on the management of employees living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, HIV/AIDS had started to impact on the Bank's profitability through the loss of personnel, absenteeism, medical and welfare costs. The Company realized that the impact of HIV/AIDS on its various stakeholders was likely to be significant in the future.

In 1999, Standard Chartered Bank undertook a major assessment of its branches in 45 different countries to identify existing policies, practices and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. As a result a strategy was developed, based on a three step process; education, monitoring and management. The company decided to focus initially on Africa, where the impact of HIV/AIDS has been the highest, but the programme was expanded globally in 2003 to all countries. The Bank believes a global education programme is important, as every country that is now high prevalence was once low prevalence.

Results and Lessons

Standard Chartered is on track to meet its Clinton Global Initiative commitment to educate one million people about HIV/AIDS by 2010. In 2008, the number of Standard Chartered staff HIV Champions more than doubled to 1,000 across 50 countries, whilst to date more than 4,000 external peer educators had received training. Over 150,000 people have received face-to-face HIV education and, at the end of 2008, the Bank had commitments from external organizations to educate more than 400,000 of their own staff and networks.

Key lessons learned from its decade-long experience educating on HIV and AIDS include.

  • Guidance and advice of external HIV and AIDS organizations at the early stage was extremely useful, including presentations that helped to win the commitment of senior management to the program.
  • Information-based programs need to be culturally sensitive, so the involvement of individual offices in the development of the pack and training was invaluable: It was clear, for example, that in many settings single-sex sessions would have to be offered.
  • Action on HIV and AIDS can be shared so that the employees of clients, suppliers and even competitors have access to the same prevention programs: HIV and AIDS is not an issue for competition.