Kenya’s most innovative, gender inclusive banks in 2022

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The winner of the 2022 Sustainable Finance Initiative Catalyst Award is the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, followed by Equity Bank in second place and Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT) in third.

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) created the Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) award in 2016 to honour banks that use catalytic finance to improve the banking sector, the national economy, and society.

  • Co-operative Bank of Kenya won the 2022 Sustainable Finance Initiative Catalyst Award, is the, which is followed  by Equity Bank
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provided financing for the prize
  • Equity Bank Kenya took first place in Best Bank in Financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises category, followed by Sidian Bank

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provided financing for the prize, which sought to recognise banks that had incorporated the sustainable finance industry’s guiding principles into their core business practices and lending policies.

Most Innovative Bank

The Most Innovative Bank category, which recognised banks for using technology to target underserved and marginalised consumer groups and the impact of technology on how they provide customer service, was won by Co-operative Bank.The second place went to Standard Chartered Bank, and position three went to Equity Bank.

Financing Commercial Clients

The lender also won first place in the area that evaluated bank activity in Financing Commercial Clients, with ABC Bank coming in second and Equity Bank of Kenya coming in third.

This category acknowledged banks for financing commercial clients’ company operations, initiatives, or investments in a way that provided long-term value for the client, leading to growth, efficiency, innovation, and market expansion.

Co-op Bank Tops In The 2022 Sustainable Finance Initiative Awards [Photo/capita FM Business]

Equity Bank Kenya Best Bank in Financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Equity Bank Kenya took first place in Best Bank in Financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises category, followed by Sidian Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya, which came in second and third place, respectively.

In his remarks on the prize, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka praised the winners for their efforts to guarantee that investment activities are carried out responsibly and per worldwide best standards.

“We can genuinely contribute to the country’s battle on climate change, social exclusion, and economic inequality by incorporating sustainable finance principles directly into the bank’s core day-to-day operations,” Olaka said.

Best case study

In the category of banks with the best case study, Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya took first place, followed by Absa Bank in second place and I&M Bank in third place, in the category of banks with the most nuanced case study in bank operations.

Through productivity programmes and the effective use of operational resources and energy like paper, water, and waste management, including electronic waste, the lenders were recognised in this category for their dedication and investment in ensuring the optimised management of both financial resources and natural capital.

KWFT won Promoting gender inclusivity

In a category that evaluated lenders’ efforts in encouraging women to be formally included in the financial services sector, creating opportunities for female employees to take leadership positions, and empowering female entrepreneurs,

KWFT was named the best bank for promoting gender inclusivity in the industry. Position two went to SBM Bank, and position three went to Equity Bank Kenya.

Equity Bank best in Covid-19 response

As a result of Equity Bank’s efforts to protect families from the effects of Covid-19, the awards judging panel, which was made up of six panellists, placed it first in the newly created category for the best bank response to the pandemic.

Co-operative Bank and KCB Group came in second and third, respectively.

The three-and-a-half-month-long exercise recognised KCB Group as the Best in Sustainable Finance, with Co-operative Bank coming in second and Equity Bank coming in third.

A Kenya Bankers Association Initiative

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), which now has 46 financial institutions as members, is the top lobbying organisation for the financial industry and the governing body for organisations that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) licences and regulates. In an effort to best help Kenyans who commit their aspirations and hard-earned resources to its member banks, KBA continues to strengthen a respected and professional banking sector.

Read: Highest paid bank CEOs in Kenya in 2022

Maingi Gichuku is passionate about helping African businesses grow by offering technology solutions. With a BSC in Zoology and biochemistry, Gichuku yearns for an Africa that can find solutions to its challenges. My drive is to see an economically dynamic Africa and embrace its populations by creating opportunities cutting across the social and economic strata.

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