NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – Caritas Microfinance Bank (Caritas MFB) was officially launched today. This is after being granted a nationwide license by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in June 2015 becoming the twelfth microfinance bank (MFB) in Kenya.
Speaking during the launch, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Deputy Governor, Sheila M’Mbijiwe lauded Caritas MFB’s efforts in addressing the financial needs of the micro and small enterprises (MSEs), specifically women, youth and self-help groups.
“Caritas Microfinance Bank joins the financial sector at a time when technology and banking are converging to facilitate provision of ever convenient services to consumers. “I therefore urge the bank to leverage on this convergence and contribute towards the financial inclusion agenda and promoting economic growth in Kenya in line with the country’s economic blue print, Vision 2030,” said Ms. M’Mbijiwe.
Cardinal John Njue traced the institution’s roots to the first Self-Help Group being established in 1983 in Kiriko Parish in Gatundu with the main objective of promoting self-reliance amongst the members. The concept later spread to the other parishes within the Archdiocese of Nairobi.
Caritas MFB Chairman, Patrick Kinyori emphasized the bank’s commitment to serve the “unbanked and under-banked” sectors which account for about 25% of Kenya’s population.
“Caritas MFB has invested in one of the latest core banking platforms in the market that will facilitate a technology driven business. The bank is working with strategic partners to reduce the cost of operations and to deliver value to customers,” added Mr. Kinyori.
In addition, the bank has mobilized close to Kshs 400 million in deposits and disbursed over Kshs 250 million in loans, with 70 percent of customers’ transactions done on the mobile banking platform
The bank has also embarked on agency banking to increase its footprint. Currently, 16 agents have already received licensing from CBK. By the end of the year, the bank is planning to have recruited 50 agents.
The licensing of Caritas MFB reiterates the Central Bank’s commitment to the development of an all-inclusive financial system.