Members of the banking industry’s advocacy organization, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), on 24th June elected NCBA Bank Managing Director and CEO John Gachora and Family Bank Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Mbithi as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, respectively, for the period 2021 to 2022. Mr Gachora, who previously served as Vice Chairperson, takes over from Mr Joshua Oigara, who chaired the KBA Governing Council for the past three years.
During their tenure, Mr Oigara and Mr Gachora led the banks through one of the most challenging periods of the industry’s history, including advocating for the repeal of interest rate controls and promoting resilience considering the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Mr Oigara passionately spearheaded the adoption of industry-wide initiatives towards ensuring financial inclusion for all.
Speaking during the KBA 59th Annual General Meeting, Mr. Oigara thanked members for their support during his term. “I congratulate John and Rebecca on their election. I am proud of the progress we have made collectively, and you can count on my support,’’ he said, lauding the KBA member banks for collectively supporting the Government at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic towards anchoring the economy, including by moving swiftly to zero rate various bank fees and charges, as well as, restructuring 54 percent of the industry’s loan portfolio to cushion businesses.
Mr Oigara said banks contributed Ksh1.7 billion to the National Emergency Response Fund which, he said, underlined the industry’s longstanding responsive commitment to society.
Mr Gachora and Ms Mbithi thanked the KBA Governing Council and member banks and committed to sustain industry growth by working closely with all stakeholders.
KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr Habil Olaka highlighted the importance of promoting industry-wide sustainability efforts, citing the Persons with Disability (PWD) Digital Accessibility project that was initiated by KBA in 2020.
“A pioneering initiative in the African region, the programme saw seven banks volunteer to have their digital service channels and products assessed. I am happy that the Digital Accessibility project’s recommendations were formally adopted by the KBA General Body, with 22 plus banks having already developed roadmaps to enhance the digital banking experience for customers and employees with disabilities,’’ he said.
Dr Olaka also welcomed Caritas Microfinance Bank, which joined the Association in 2020. “We are confident the bank will contribute to our long-term vision of reinforcing the industry’s role in advancing Kenya’s sustainable economic development,” he said.
KBA Governing Council for 2021/2022 period
The KBA Governing Council is nominated to represent three categories – large, medium-sized, and small banks. The incoming Council members are as follows:
- NCBA Bank, Group Managing Director, John Gachora (Chair)
- Family Bank, Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Mbithi (Vice Chair)
- KCB Bank, Group CEO, Joshua Oigara
- Co-Operative Bank of Kenya, Group Managing Director & CEO, Dr. Gideon Muriuki
- Equity Bank Kenya, Managing Director, Gerald Warui
- Diamond Trust Bank, Group CEO & Managing Director, Nasim Devji
- Standard Chartered Bank, Managing Director & CEO, Kariuki Ngari
- Absa Bank, Managing Director, Jeremy Awori
- I&M Bank, Chief Executive Officer, Kihara Maina
- Citibank, East Africa Chief Executive Officer, Martin Mugambi
- SBM Bank, Chief Executive Officer, Moezz Mir
- GT Bank, Regional Managing Director, Olabayo Veracruz
- DIB Bank, Chief Executive Officer, Peter Makau
- Middle East Bank, Managing Director, Isaac Mwige
- Development Bank of Kenya, Chief Executive Officer, Victor Kidiwa