NAIROBI, October 25 – The Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) expects to roll out banking operations three months after the after Central Bank of Kenya gives licensing approval.
Speaking on Saturday during the institution\’s Annual General Meeting at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, KWFT Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Riria said they had lodged an application with the CBK and were awaiting a response.
"We are right on course. We applied for the license to operate as a one stop-shop for our clients, and we are ready to start when we get the license," she said.
The institution applied for the License last November.
KWFT Finance and Administration General Manager Mwangi Githaiga also said they already had rolled out a strategy for the banking outfit to ensure its success.
He said they were branding their offices as well as placing them at accessible places for their clients.
In a move to strengthen its clientele, Mr Githaiga announced that KWFT was targeting more people and placed the projected number at 2.5 million clients.
Recruitment of new staff with knowledge in banking was also part of the organisation\’s early preparation.
"The clientele at the moment has grown to over 200,000 by the end of the 5th year we should be having between 2 to 2.5 million clients, we have also started recruiting staff whose capacity we don\’t have in house," he said.
He expressed confidence that their plan will work considering the reliable clientele they already have.
KWFT also announced plans to extend its products to the northern part of Kenya with General Manager (Operations) Pauline Ngari saying, "we are trying to come up with a product that suits the northern frontier and which suits most of the clients in the area."
Garissa and Lodwar are some of the entry towns that they have chosen to begin within in their expansion to Northern Kenya from.
She said they would later move to Mandera and expand to the rest of the towns.
During the AGM it was disclosed that the institution had made a profit of Sh227 million for the year 2007 attributing the positive progress to the economic growth last year.
The CEO acknowledged that women repaid loans at a 100 percent rate, saying it boosted the institution\’s balance sheet since women were their core clients and had proven to be credit worthy.
KWFT currently does not take deposits but acts as a lending organisation, but this will change after the CBK grants them the license to operate as a fully-fledged bank.