Equity Bank Kenya has been recognized by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) at the 2021 SFI Catalyst Awards for its efforts in championing sustainable finance initiatives in support of the region’s economic recovery and resilience.
The Bank whose business model is hinged on its social and economic engines clinched top position in the Best Bank in COVID-19 Response and Best Bank in SME Financing award categories and first runners-up in the Best Overall Bank after bagging 7 awards out of the possible 8 categories.
Speaking on behalf of Equity Bank Kenya’s Managing Director, Moses Ndirangu, Director Coof Corporate Banking said, “The recognition by the Kenya Bankers Association is timely and validates how doing good has a direct influence on doing well. We are humbled that Equity’s defensive and offensive strategy has paid off and continues to get local, regional, and global recognition.”
Besides the three categories, Equity also took the 2nd runners-up place in four award categories namely; Best Bank in Sustainable Finance, Best Bank in Financing a Commercial Client, Best Bank in Promoting Gender Inclusivity, and Most Innovative Bank following a close review and evaluation by a select panel of judges drawn from cross-functional sectors of the economy.
Also speaking at the award ceremony, Kenya Bankers Association CEO Dr. Habil Olaka said, “The annual ceremony has become a hallmark event celebrating banks that have put the economy and environment at the center of their businesses. As the banking community, we need to work beyond financial gain and look at socio-economic responsibilities away from a focus on profitability.”
In support of the COVID-19 response, Equity Group invested Kshs 1.7 billion to support government and community efforts in fighting the pandemic. This included the provision of PPEs to frontline health workers in 116 Public and Mission Hospitals who also benefitted from psychosocial support.
Additionally, the Bank restructured loans and offered loan repayment moratoriums to its customers enabling them to restructure, retool and repurpose. A move that played a critical role in cushioning businesses that were operating in a tough economic environment. Equity accommodated and rescheduled up to 45% of its loan book and waived Kes 1.2 billion in rescheduling fees with an additional focus on lending to its customers during the COVID-19 period, resulting in a 30% growth in the overall loan book.
The SFI Catalyst Awards were established by the KBA to celebrate and recognize member banks that continue to make significant strides towards enhancing bank practice, leadership, and innovation thus impacting its customers and stakeholders environmentally, socially, and from a governance perspective.