Nairobi, Kenya Sept 25 – The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) vice-chair Rebecca Mbithi Friday said that the banking sector is key to steering economic recovery in the wake of adverse economic effects occasioned by the COVID19 pandemic.
Mbithi, who spoke during KBA’s annual banking research conference, noted that banking institutions proved resilient during the pandemic by providing liquidity support to cushion institutions, small and medium enterprises as well as households.
“The mitigating measures against the effects of the pandemic taken by the banking industry was fast and decisive, this shows that we built a resilient sector with adequate capital and liquidity buffers, that remained strong to support businesses navigate the adversities associated with COVID-19 without compromising systemic stability,” she said.
Mbithi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO0 of Family Bank, nonetheless noted that “the stability of the banking sector does not imply immunity to economic crises and shocks, adding that crises and shocks present risks that call for proactive mitigation plans.”
KBA CEO Habil Olaka, on his part, highlighted the digital readiness of the banking industry which has been instrumental in preventing the health crisis from degenerating into a financial crisis.
“The clarion call throughout this conference has been the need to explore avenues to build and sustain resilience even as we continue to seek a lasting solution to the pandemic. To this end, there have been discussions around enhancing both structural and operational efficiency as a pathway to reducing operational costs, besides enhancing customer experience,” he said.
They made the remarks during the closing session of the three-day conference that sought to explore opportunities and pathways of enhancing the banking industry’s role in steering economic recovery in light of the COVID-19 disruption.