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January 01 2007

Standard Bank Partners with Operation HOPE to Promote Silver Rights Through Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship

Standard Bank becomes a Legacy Sponsor for Banking on Our Future, South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 11, 2007 – As one of the most established banking institutions in South Africa, Standard Bank has entered into a partnership with Operation HOPE, a nonprofit and financial literacy and empowerment leader which started in the USA and now operates globally. The partnership also includes government and other organisations in South Africa. The goal is to recruit, train and mobilize more than 250 professional HOPE Corps volunteers to educate 50,000 South African youth, young adults and women through the award winning youth financial literacy program, Banking on Our Future.  Learners will be educated in financial literacy, dignity and entrepreneurship.  The program office will be located at CIDA University.

“We at Standard Bank understand that we have a critical contribution to make in terms of socio-economic development. Our success as a country is dependent on how we all ensure that the most marginalized sections of our society such as women and youth are empowered through financial literacy in order to make informed decisions about their future. Our company is also active in building sustainable livelihoods by supporting communities in the areas of education, health and entrepreneurship. Standard Bank’s partnership with Operation HOPE is driven by its vision of being relevant to the societies in which we operate,” says Tina Eboka, Director, Group Corporate Affairs.

Banking on Our Future is Operation HOPE’s initiative to empower youth with the basics of wise money management. Banking on Our Future South Africa comprises of six modules including the basics of banking, savings, checking, investment, dignity, and entrepreneurship. The program’s focus is to promote self-reliance, self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant said, “Operation HOPE is pleased to have the support of Standard Bank as our Legacy sponsor. We applaud their commitment to the empowerment of low-wealth communities, and I personally respect and admire the outstanding individuals at Standard Bank, who seek to genuinely serve the under-served.  Through their investment in “silver rights” we will be able to positively impact the lives of thousands of youth and young women in South Africa.”

Banking on Our Future’s expansion into South Africa is in line with the mission of both organizations to bring economic self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to the underserved communities. Before expanding to Africa, the program’s proven success includes Oprah\'s Angel Network Use Your Life Award and the U.S. Treasury Department’s John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence. In the last 10 years, some 6,000 HOPE Corps volunteers have educated more than 225,000 youth.
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About Standard Bank
Standard Bank is a South African-based financial services organisation with a global presence. It was established as the Standard Bank of British South Africa Limited, and incorporated in London in 1862.  Standard Bank operates from 18 African countries and 21 countries outside of Africa with an emerging market focus, including the key financial centres of Europe, the Americas and Asia. Standard Bank has been part of the fabric of South Africa for the past 145 years.

Standard Bank supports a range of organisations that aim to foster democracy and promote sound economic policies in South Africa. The bank’s social investment programme focuses on key developmental areas such as education, health and entrepreneurship. The bank also promotes the development of arts and cultural heritage through the annual Standard Bank National Arts Festival, the bank’s major arts sponsorship, and associated events such as the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Awards. Recognising the skills challenge that South Africa faces and working in cooperation with Government on the national skills programme (JIPSA), Standard Bank supports a range of such initiatives including the Banking on Our Future program.

In 2004 Standard Bank Group sold an effective 10% interest in its South African banking operations to a broad-based grouping of black entities. The transaction enabled Standard Bank to meet the direct ownership requirements set out in the Financial Sector Charter. For more information visit    www.standardbank.co.za