NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Standard Chartered Bank is set to increase its operations in Kenya as the country’s economy continues to sustain its upward trajectory.
The bank’s decision was revealed today when President Uhuru Kenyatta held a meeting with Standard Chartered Bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Bill Winters, at State House, Nairobi.
Withers said the bank will increase its presence in the country and expand the sectors it finances.
“We are looking for bright spots in the world and Kenya is one of them,” said Mr Winters, adding that Kenya is on top of the list of the countries the bank targets for expansion.
President Kenyatta said Kenya appreciates the decision and asked the bank to start focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises as well as agriculture, which the bank used to support previously.
“I urge you to venture again in agriculture since it is the right time as we focus on value addition on agricultural products,” said the President.
The President said the Government wants to continue placing focus on agriculture as it is one of the means of tackling the issue of youth employment.
President Kenyatta also invited the bank to invest in infrastructure especially in building roads through the annuity programme as well as other projects that require direct investor funding.
During the meeting, the President said the Government is committed to maintain a healthy financial sector and will continue taking tough action against banks that break rules.
“We are working closely with our new Central Bank Governor to remove the weakness that has existed in the sector,” said the President.
Winters said Standard Chartered will support the Government’s plan to raise the bar for the banking sector.
Standard Chartered is one of Kenya’s biggest banks and its announcement to scale up operations comes as good news for the country.
The bank chief was accompanied by the bank’s Regional CEO for Africa and Middle, Mr Sunil Kaushal, the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Board Chair Anne Mutahi and the bank’s Kenya MD Lamin Manjang.
The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Henry Rotich.