Equity Bank scooped two prizes at the 2020 edition of the African Banker Awards.
The bank bagged top honors as it was awarded the Best Regional Bank in East Africa.
For the second year in a row, the bank was also named Africa’s Most Socially Responsible Bank.
The judging panel credited the bank with contributing to a stronger financial sector in the region by reaching out to the unbanked and offering new services.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi was on hand to receive the awards in a virtual ceremony.
He maintained that the awards were testament to Equity’s commitment to establish itself as a market leader in financial services beyond Kenya.
At the moment, Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL) has subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“We are glad that Equity has won this award. We appreciate the recognition that our operations in the 6 East and Central African countries we operate in have been standardized to reflect the One Equity brand providing inclusive financial services and we are not just a Kenyan bank, but a regional bank,” he stated.
The win for Africa’s Most Socially Responsible Bank was credited to various sustainability projects initiated by Equity Group.
Through its philanthropic arm, Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the firm has so far mobilized mobilized over Ksh 44.7 billion (USD 447 million) to be spent in key focus areas.
The seven thematic areas include education and leadership development, food and agriculture, health, enterprise development and financial education, social protection, energy and Environment, and innovation.
Under the health pillar, for example, Equity mobilized Kshs1.1 billion (USD11 million) for the purchase of PPE for frontline medical personnel dealing with COVID-19 patients in public hospitals in Kenya.
“Our purpose is to transform lives, giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation.
We have combined financial services and doing good, social impact investments, in our business model for the betterment of our communities and we are glad that our work and the impact is being recognized,” noted Mwangi.
Like other financial institutions, Equity was forced to rejig its operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bank provided an option for customers to re-negotiate existing facilities for up to 4 years.
It also eliminated charges on all mobile banking transactions including all Equity-to-Equity mobile bank transfers, bank to mobile wallet transfers, mobile wallet to bank transfers, and mobile payments for bills, utilities, shopping, fuel, etc. to encourage cashless transactions.