- The lender was named the bank of the year 2019 in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan
- In Kenya, the bank registered 4.8 % growth in net profit alongside a 9.3 % rise in total assets
- The Uganda branch has been feted for playing an imperative role in helping over 1.2 million refugees access funds
- In South Sudan, the bank reduced Non-Performing Loans ratio from 70.5% to 14.3% in 2018 and profits increased by 240% in the same year
Equity Bank has been named the Bank of the Year in three East African countries.
Equity Bank Kenya was awarded Kenya’s top bank for the second year running at the 2019 Financial Times Banker’s Bank of the Year annual awards convened in London and also led in Uganda and South Sudan.
The award reaffirms the bank’s position as the lender of choice having scored highly after a comprehensive analysis of its earnings, asset and tier one capital growth and return on equity.
In the last financial year, Equity reported a 4.8 % growth in net profit, alongside a 9.3 % rise in total assets.
Aside from the financial performance, judges were also keen on establishing whether the banks were setting new standards in their local industry, embracing innovation and initiating cost effective ways of growing their business.
In Equity Bank’s business model and strategy, innovation and digitisation feature very prominently with 97% of transactions being on digital platforms allowing the bank to transform its cost structure from fixed to variable costs with minimal investments due to use of third party infrastructure.
“Instead of just providing banking services, we provide financial solutions with a business model that is economically viable, socially sound and has become very successful in shared prosperity.
One of our key strengths is our investment in capacity building. Empowering society through shared prosperity has given Equity Bank a human face and a soul,” said James Mwangi, Group CEO and Managing Director Equity Group Holdings.
At the same event, Equity Bank was also recognised as the best bank in Uganda, with the judges being impressed by its stellar financial performance and its customised banking services for the country’s refugee community.
The Bank has partnered with UN agencies to digitise payments to Uganda’s 1.2 million refugees.
This partnership involves the bank opening UN-funded accounts for refugees who use the money to access different services.
While acknowledging the recognition, Samuel Kirubi, Equity Bank Uganda, Managing Director reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to social and economic transformation.
“Equity Uganda has primarily focused on the deployment of innovative financial solutions through world class digital and agency banking channels that enhance financial inclusion and deepen financial access.
We have also embraced ecosystem banking and partnerships to grow and widen our reach so as to serve more people,” he said.
Similarly, Equity also emerged as the winner of the award for Bank of the Year in South Sudan.
In a market that has been marred by high inflation and currency depreciation, the judges admired Equity Bank South Sudan’s adaptation, managing to trim its NPL’s ratio down from 70.5% to 14.3% in 2018.
Profits surged by 240% in the same year.
Commenting on the award, Addis Ababa Othow, Managing Director Equity Bank South Sudan said the bank had invested in innovative technologies and had also extended its services closer to the people thus cementing its base.
“We continue investing in innovation and creation of new distribution and service models that seek to improve efficiency and take banking services closer to the people thereby deepening financial inclusion and broadening access.
This is in line with our vision of championing the socio-economic prosperity of our people.," said Othow.
I will take my first salary to church if someone offers me a job-Donald Messo | Tuko TV.
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