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The face of Kenya’s banking sector continues to change with much of the focus on reaching the un-banked population. And Kenya has recently amended the law, allowing banks to use agents to distribute their services. This has led to partnerships between banks and the mobile telecommunications industry to gain some of the bounty. Safaricom’s M-Pesa, used by some 10 million people, has opened the eyes of banks who have adopted the stance if you can’t beat them, you had better join them. M-Kesho, launched by Equity Bank and Safaricom, is providing M-Pesa and Equity bank members with the opportunity to bank and obtain small loans (up to Kshs.5,000) without stepping into a bank. Users will also have access to savings & insurance facilities. The very concept has opened the doors for banks to reach customers without having to expand costly branch networks. Mobile banking has effectively entered the territory of traditional suppliers of small loans such as micro financiers and SACCO’s. Whilst some micro financiers have in turn crossed over into banking. The Women’s small scale supplier of loans Kenya Women’s Finance Trust (KWFT) was granted a banking license to take deposits in April this year. The new bank announced plans to ‘operationalise’ twenty branches within the first year, presumably with the aim of creating a clear physical presence as a bank. With over 60% of the population outside of the formal banking system, ways of capturing more of this market will no doubt continue to sprout in the country. Althea McCourt ABIS Limited/lifestyle/the-future-of-banking-in-kenya
The face of Kenya’s banking sector continues to change with much of the focus on reaching the un-banked population. And Kenya has recently amended the law, allowing banks to use agents to distribute their services./lifestyle/the-future-of-banking-in-kenya-2
Kenya’s Central Bank (CBK) this week finally intervened through monetary policy in a bid to halt the rising rate of inflation, which stood at 14.5% in June, and to strengthen the beleaguered Kenyan shilling./lifestyle/cbk-intervenes-after-high-inflation-figures
Kenya’s banking industry is so far reporting lucrative returns for 2010 and bumper bonuses will likely be paid to staff and senior management. Kenya Commercial Bank reported a 75% increase in profits after tax and exceptional items, followed by NIC Bank with a 73% rise. Equity Bank announced a 70% increase, and Barclays Bank recorded a 51% rise. Although there is little disclosure on the size of the senior management bonus payouts, bonuses of 1 -2 months’ salary is generally expected for most employees./lifestyle/kenyas-very-healthy-banking-sector
The Kenyan shilling hit a new record low this week following days of successive lows. Falling to 91.45 against the US dollar, this is the lowest since the removal of price controls in 1993. The central bank sent in auditors to assess currency dealings in commercial banks, looking for any irregular trading./lifestyle/kenyan-shilling-hits-new-low-as-calls-for-interven