•Coop Bank has been keen on supporting SMEs in the country, a sector that took a major blow from the impact of the Covid-10 pandemic.
•The tier 1 lender in July announced a $100 million (Sh14.7 billion) kitty for affordable loans to small businesses.
The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has been awarded by the SME Finance Forum the SME Financier of the Year In Africa - Gold Award at the Global SME Finance Awards 2023.
The awards were announced at the Global SME Finance Forum in Mumbai, India, where other East African lenders among them Tanzania's NMB Bank and Equity were honored.
Backed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Global SME Finance Awards 2023 recognise financial institutions and fintech companies for their outstanding achievements in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.
The awards are organised by the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).
They provide an opportunity for institutions to showcase and share their good practices and knowledge and to learn from them.
Launched in 2018 and now in its sixth year, the awards capture the effective and successful practices of financiers, honoring the innovative products and services for SME clients that have achieved impressive results in expanding finance and services to SMEs, and the institutions that undertake those efforts.
Co-op Bank Group managing director and CEO Gideon Muriuki said: “In collaboration with IFC and other partners, we have taken time to listen, study and build a most competitive value proposition for SMEs intended to support them realise the goals they have set for themselves.”
“We are very encouraged by the successful outcomes we continue to see in the marketplace. This award is for Kenyan SMEs too,” Muriuki added.
Coop Bank has been keen on supporting SMEs in the country, a sector that took a major blow from the impact of the Covid-10 pandemic.
The tier 1 lender in July announced a $100 million (Sh14.7 billion) kitty for affordable loans to small businesses, after it received a long-term seven-year funding facility for on-lending.
This was from a consortium of financial institutions led by DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, boosting the bank’s ability to support MSMEs growth in the country.
Co-op Bank continues to leverage its strong balance sheet to access funding and allied partnerships with global development partners, to enhance the bank’s opportunities for growth and overall performance, management said.
These include enhancing the bank’s assets and liability match where long-term loans can be financed using the long-term debt.
It is also keen on diversifying its asset and funding portfolio, expand client base, especially among MSMEs and boost the bank’s competitive position, on account of affordable lending.
The lender’s net profit grew 5.8 per cent in the half year ended June to Sh12.1 billion.
Its loan book expanded by 10.7 percent to Sh365.3 billion.
“The strong performance by the bank is in line with the group’s strategic focus on sustainable growth, resilience, and agility,” Muriuki said during the release of the results in August.
Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum said there has been an increase in supporting SMEs, narrowing the financing gap.
SME Finance Forum incoming CEO Qamar Saleem said: “By supporting SMEs, we are not just providing access to financial services, we are also changing lives.”