Equity Bank was feted at the Banker’s awards held in London winning Bank of the Year- Kenya; Bank of the Year – Uganda and Bank of the Year- South Sudan.
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 in London. 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 1 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, the 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 digitization 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 3rd 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 Dr. James Mwangi, Group CEO and Managing Director Equity Group Holdings.
At the same event, Equity Bank was also recognized as the best bank in Uganda, with the judges being impressed by its stellar financial performance and its customized banking services for the country’s refugee community. The Bank has partnered with UN agencies to digitize 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.
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, Dr. Addis Ababa Othow, Managing Director Equity Bank South Sudan said, “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.”