NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – Sidian Bank a mid tier Bank and leader in providing trade finance solutions in the banking industry and has sponsored a 2-day conference bringing together the leadership of teacher based SACCOs from across the country.
The 10th annual conference held by Kenya Teachers’ Sacco’s Association (KETSA) reaching out to over 600,000 members participants commenced on Tuesday at Sportsview Kasarani and was set to close on Wednesday.
KETSA brings together 22 saccos, formerly teachers based saccos but now have opened membership for all to join including business people and retail customers mostly employees in govt and private sector.
KETSA block controls assets of Sh152 billion and deposits of Sh102 billion in this economy from its member saccos combined. They also support their Sacco members by lending to them instead of them borrowing from banks besides doing advocacy role thus their motto of “unity is strength’’
Speaking at the opening ceremony CEO Sidian Bank Mr Chege Thumbi noted that “Sidian Bank is keen on strengthening collaborative efforts with SACCOs through provision of transformational financial solutions that maximize the potential of SACCOs.
As Sidian Bank we see Saccos as equal partners in the financial industry and we aim to complement their efforts by empowering them to offer services which they are otherwise not able to directly offer their members and therefore making them competitive in the market by being a one stop shop for financial solutions”.
“This is evident by some of the innovations the Bank has developed, such as a cash management solution, Sidian Bridge, where SACCO members can send money from Sacco accounts to any other bank in the country through our fund transfer service,” he added.
Some of the challenges brought up by COVID-19 in the sacco industry involve low uptake of loans due to suppressed economy that led to very high liquidity on some saccos, avenues to invest on borrowed loans narrowed down and made loan uptakes low.
Lending to members being the first investment to ensure good returns for better dividend payments, saccos were able to look for other investment options so as to deploy the high liquidity well and this was partly inform of banks FDs.
High Non Performing Loans which led to low income and low dividends, was high on customers doing business where cashflows declined and those in private sector whose salaries were affected and highly affected profitability of saccos as well as dividend payments. Majority of loans were re-structured and already recovering well.
SACCOs play a key role in growth of the economy by complimenting commercial banks efforts on the growth of MSME as well as promoting a culture of savings for later years in life.