Cooperative Bank is this year’s overall winner of the Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) Catalyst Awards for financial service providers.
An independent judging panel placed Equity Bank Group second overall position and KWFT in the third position.
Themed “Recognizing Catalytic Finance that Impacts Industry, Economy and Society”, the awards were unveiled in 2016 by the Kenya Bankers Association to celebrate institutions that have embedded the SFI Guiding Principles.
Best banks of them all
This year, the awards attracted 47 entries from 14 financial institutions. The ceremony was presided over by Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge and Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Julius Muia.
Finalists included ABC Bank, Barclays/Absa, Co-operative Bank, Credit Bank, DTB, Equity Bank Group, Faulu Microfinance Bank, KCB Group, KWFT, National Bank, NCBA, Rafiki Microfinance Bank, Stanbic Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.
CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge noted that commendable strides had been achieved by the initiative in building capacity of bank employees on sustainable finance.
“To date, over 28,000 bank employees have been trained to have an appreciation of ensuring that their financing decision is guided by the wider societal concerns of the environment and the economy,’’ said Dr. Njoroge.
|Best Overall||Cooperative Bank|
|Category 1||Best in Sustainable Finance||Standard Chartered Bank|
|Category 2 A||Client Case Study – Financing Small and Medium Enterprises||Cooperative Bank|
|Category 2 B||Client Case Study – Financing Commercial Client||Equity Bank|
|Category 2 C||Bank Case Study – Operations||Standard Chartered|
|Category 2 D||Bank Case Study – Promoting Gender Inclusivity||KWFT|
|Category 2 E||Financing the Informal Sector||Equity Bank Group|
|Category 3||Most Innovative Bank||Equity Bank Group|
|Category 4||Best in Sustainable Finance in the East Africa Region||CBA|
|Most Improved Bank||KWFT|
Dr Njoroge observed that the industry has continued to develop strategies that ensure sustainable growth through technology such as the “Stawi” digital credit innovation recently launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Through “Stawi,” micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can access unsecured loans at 9% from as little as Ksh30,000 to as much as Ksh250,000. “Ensuring financial inclusion is an integral component towards Kenya’s attainment of its Vision 2030,” he said.
He commended Kenya Bankers Association for introducing the Most Innovative Award category, which seeks to encourage banks to leverage on technology to enable financial inclusion.
Kenya Bankers Association CEO Dr Habil said SFI Catalyst Awards signify that the industry is putting measures and identifying clear performance indicators that will safeguard our global competitiveness and secure a better future for this nation.
The judging panel for the 2019 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards consisted of Ms Joyce Njogu (Consulting Head – Kenya Manufacturers Association), Prof Kenneth Amaeshi ( Business and Sustainable Development – University of Edinburg), Dr Peter Muriu (Financial Economics Consultant), Mr Sandy Okoth (SFI Expert-WWF), Eng. Dan Likuyi Ndenga (Chemical Engineer), with support from Ms Nuru Mugambi (KBA).
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke