, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Members of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) have re-elected Kenya Commercial Bank Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara as chairman for a period of 12 months.
The members of the banking industry umbrella body also elected Commercial Bank of Africa CEO Jeremy Ngunze as the Vice Chairman.
Oigara, who has served as KBA Chairman for the past 12 months, has been instrumental in steering the industry in implementing various progressive initiatives that have contributed to stability of the sector.
Among the developments include the migration to the EMV (Chip &Pin) standard for payment cards, and the introduction of the Kenya Banks’ Reference Rate (KBRR) as well as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) as industry interventions to ease access to credit by enhancing pricing transparency.
Also under Oigara’s leadership, KBA undertook the development of the Sustainable Finance guiding principles which will influence how banks contribute positively to economic, social and environmental sustainability through their financing activity.
“In my view, the Sustainable Finance Initiative by KBA is one of the most noble but also necessary innovations we have undertaken as the banking industry because economic development, social wellbeing and environmental protection are matters that concern any global citizen, and every commercial entity,” he said.
In his report, Oigara noted the banking sector’s solid base and stable growth trajectory witnessed over the years reinforce the key role the industry plays in contributing to Kenya’s economic development.
The industry’s financing of enterprise growth has seen banks lend over Sh190 billion to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME).
“Banks are transforming enterprises through their lending activity and value-added services. This is a tremendous feat that is leaps and bounds beyond the investment our counterparts in more developed markets such as South Africa and Nigeria are directing to fuel SMEs,” Oigara said.
On his part, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka noted the industry will make further strides towards enhanced efficiency and interoperability as outlined in the Association’s Strategic Plan.
The banking sector pre-tax profit recorded a marginal growth of 2.7 percent to Sh37.3 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to Sh36.3 billion which the banks made in the quarter ending December 2014.
The sector deposits continued to be the main source of funding for banks in the first quarter of 2015.
Kenyans deposited some Sh2.41 trillion with commercial banks in the first quarter of 2015 from Sh2.33 trillion deposits in the previous quarter ending December last year.
Latest statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya attribute the marginal 3.4 percent rise to branch expansion, remittances and increased use of alternative delivery channels of banking services such as agency banking.