Equity Bank Kenya has received twenty two accolades in the 2021 Banking Awards by Think Business. For the tenth year in a row, Equity was ranked the best overall bank in Kenya. It also emerged the best bank in sustainable corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the fifth year running. The bank also garnered first position in ten other categories which included: best tier one bank, best bank in trade finance, best bank in agriculture and livestock financing¸ best bank in asset finance, best bank in mobile banking, best bank in product innovation, best bank in agency banking, best bank in internet banking, best commercial bank in microfinance and best bank with the lowest charge for individuals.
In the same breath, the lender took first runner up position in four categories including: SME banking, best bank to borrow from, best bank in mortgage financing as well as the special judges award for product innovation for the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Window (KCEP-CRAL), e-voucher mobile programme targeting smallholder farmers and agro dealers.
Moreover, Equity took third place in the best retail bank, best bank in digital banking as well as most customer- centric bank. In the leadership category, Equity Group managing director and chief executive officer Dr. James Mwangi was crowned CEO of the Year for his contribution to financial inclusion, steering the dynamism of the region’s banking sector and his role in championing corporate social investment in the various communities that Equity operates in. Dr. Mwangi has been feted CEO of the Year for five years now since 2017. Edwin Kiburu, who serves as the technical product manager in charge of lifestyle payments won the outstanding young banker award. This marks the third year that Equity has bagged the award.
While receiving the awards in a virtual ceremony, Equity Bank Kenya managing director Gerald Warui said: “The recognition by the Think Business Banking Awards has reinforced our position in the market as a bank that customers have trusted, a bank that listens and cares for customers, a bank that enables businesses to grow and thrive, a progressive bank that offers self-service digital solutions and a bank that is responsive to the market and customer needs.” He added that Equity remained committed to investing in innovation, processes, systems and in staff to spearhead the progress, dynamism and digitization of the banking sector for a better Kenya and Africa at large.
“We are strong advocates of the shared prosperity model and we continue to leverage our commercial infrastructure to implement social impact programmes implemented through Equity Group Foundation (EGF). The Wings to Fly and Elimu scholarship programmes have continued to have impact on young people who excel in their academic pursuits while also demonstrating leadership capabilities. Other impactful programmes aligned to our social impact thematic areas include: Equity Afia, the medical franchise of EGF, 35 million trees tree-planting initiative and financial education and entrepreneurship among others.” Mr. Warui further said.
The main objective of the Banking Awards is to encourage innovation, prudence and stability in the banking sector by recognizing, awarding and celebrating exemplary performers. Commenting on Equity’s remarkable performance, Ochieng Oloo, Think Business chief executive officer said: “By showcasing the best performers in the industry, we aim to present the banking public with an opportunity to make informed banking decisions. Equity has emerged top in a closely contested process that saw multiple industry players submit entries for consideration.”