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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Catholic Church-owned microlender bets on digital channels

Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Sheila M'Mbijiwe during the launch of Caritas Micro-finance Bank at The Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi on 20/04/2017. It is the first ever to be owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi.
Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Sheila M'Mbijiwe during the launch of Caritas Micro-finance Bank at The Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi on 20/04/2017. It is the first ever to be owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi.

The Catholic Church-owned deposit-taking micro-lender, Caritas Microfinance Bank, is looking to grow market share through increased alternative banking channels and agency banking. The micro-financier officially launched yesterday after getting a nationwide license by the Central Bank of Kenya in June 2015.

“Currently, about 70 per cent of our customers’ transactions are done on the mobile banking platform. Our strategic goal is to have 80 per cent of all transactions on alternative banking channels over the long term,” Caritas MFB chief executive George Maina said during the launch in Nairobi.

With close to Sh400 million in deposits and having disbursed over Sh250 million in loans, the lender said it was keen on addressing financial needs of the micro and small enterprises. A special focus will be on enterprises owned by women, youth and self-help groups.

“I urge the bank to leverage on convergence and contribute towards the financial inclusion agenda and promoting economic growth in Kenya in line with the country’s economic blue print, Vision 2030,” Central Bank of Kenya deputy governor Sheila M’Mbijjewe said during the launch.

There are 13 deposit-taking microfinance companies licensed by the CBK under the Microfinance Act (Deposit-Taking Microfinance Institutions) regulations, 2008.


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