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Access to financial services

More than three billion people worldwide currently lack access to basic banking services. Many of those deprived of access live within communities in the countries in which we operate, and their inability to raise even the smallest loan has a direct impact on economic activity both nationally and regionally. Similarly, during the global economic crisis that dominated this year, businesses found funding difficult to access and, when available, at prohibitive rates. These restrictions slowed both economic development and the rate of job creation.

As a bank committed to sustainable development, we at Standard Chartered understand that the ability to access to finance is vital to economic activity. We use our products and services, our global network and our core skills to provide greater access to financial services. In doing so, we create a competitive advantage for the Bank and, longer-term, stimulate demand for our financial services. This is sustainability at work.

Annual Report and Accounts 2009