Nepal's best international bank 2019: Standard Chartered
By any measure, Standard Chartered Bank is one of the best commercial lenders in Nepal and the clear leader among the foreign banks. It has been in Nepal since 1987, when it registered as a joint venture. It has since listed on the Nepal Stock Exchange. With 12 branches dotted around the country, including four in Kathmandu, it plays an important role in the domestic financial system. In an overbanked market, its name suggests stability, safety and respectability, while its low cost of funding gives it a competitive edge.
StanChart “banks all the large multinationals and multilaterals doing business in Nepal,” says Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar, chief executive in Nepal, and it acts as the first point of contact for money flowing into or out of the country; that includes Chinese capital destined for a host of big infrastructure projects in Nepal, ranging from highways to airports. The strength of Standard Chartered’s name here is such that in good times and bad – and Nepal has enjoyed and endured both – governments have turned to the bank for advice on matters ranging from how to tackle money laundering to the development of its onshore capital markets.
StanChart is a leading provider of retail banking services, as well as the largest onshore handler of foreign exchange; for years, it has set an example in corporate social responsibility, helping to fund initiatives such as financial literacy campaigns and disaster relief projects.
The bank reported net profit of $20 million in Nepal in the financial year ending in mid July 2018, up 41% from the previous year; assets and outstanding loans rose 7.3% and 16.7% respectively over the same period. The bank’s return on equity jumped 56% in the year to mid July 2018, while return on assets improved by nearly a third to 2.61%.