Kenya’s Equity bank is one of the biggest banks in Kenya that has managed to capture the biggest population of both low and middle-income earners. Founded in October 1984, as Equity Building Society (EBS), Equity bank provided mortgage financing for most of its clients who fell in the low-income bracket. There is always someone in your circle banking with Equity Bank regardless of their location because equity bank has penetrated all the corners in Kenya. From the rural to urban areas, Equity continues to grow and reach out to a larger population.
|16,October,2014||Equity has subsidiaries in other African countries
The bank has subsidiaries in South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda with its shares listed on both the Nairobi and Uganda securities exchange. There have also been talks that it is looking at Ghana, South Africa, Congo and Nigeria among other African countries. The banks transformation into a huge micro-finance institution is certainly a story one would like to hear. At the moment, the bank has the biggest customer base in Africa. I am not sure if ‘sufferers’ would ever own bank accounts if it were not for equity bank. Equity has made life easier for most low-income individuals who are able to make low deposits and not mind that their cash being lost to hidden bank charges.
|16,October,2014||Equity faces an almost collapse
In 1994, (EBS) was insolvent and was on the verge of collapse. That would have marked the end of a family business that had developed as a mortgage lender to Kenya’s poor population. Equity’s logo- consisting of a modest house with a brown cover- sent the message out about the banks mission to assist low-income earners make gains for a fruitful life. However, poor management and the economic downturn meant that the organization was facing a possible collapse. The central bank had also given Equity a chance to convert its depositors into shareholders.
|16,October,2014||James Mwangi steps in
Equity’s board decided to turn to James Mwangi at the last minute. James was a banker and accountant who was hailing from the part of central Kenya where the bank had been formed. Mr. James Mwangi became the CEO and helped in transforming Equity into a success story at the eleventh hour. James managed to shift Equity’s focus to small loans from the competitive mortgage market. The foundation of this new technique was to offer low income Kenyans small micro loans as little as Ksh500.
|16,October,2014||Equity’s ground breaking strategy
Equity had to close the branches around the country. It loosened property ownership requirements and allowed any Kenyan who owned an ID to open an account with them. The bank became more flexible about security, to the extent of even accepting personal belongings. In areas where the bank felt it did not have enough customers, it sent armored trucks with a bank attendant inside to serve the citizens.
|16,October,2014||In 2014, almost half of all bank accounts owned by Kenyans belong to Equity Bank
The new strategy acted as ‘magnet’ to a large number of customers. Since the year 2000, equity’s pre-tax profit has been growing at an annual average rate of 0.65. In 2014, almost half of all bank accounts owned by Kenyans belong to Equity bank. In addition, the 33.6 million gross profit in 2000 has risen in extraordinary magnitude. Probably the only thing that Equity needs to do is replicate its Kenyan success to other countries where it has opened its branches. That way, Equity will have grown to an international bank.
|16,October,2014||The drive for innovativeness is one of biggest strategies that work for Equity Bank
What equity has done is show exceptional achievement within a short period with some of its most innovative services. The biggest trait that has worked for equity is its drive for innovativeness. The bank introduced mobile banking and just recently was approved by the Communications authority of Kenya to introduce new sim-cards, a move that is most likely going to reap much higher profits and enable the bank rise to higher ranks in Africa.
|16,October,2014||Opening of new account with no initial cost has kept customers loyal to Equity
Equity bank has defied all odds to become Kenya’s biggest bank, especially for newly opened accounts. To most Kenyans in the middle and low-income bracket, opening a new bank account without an initial deposit was a dream come true, and probably this is how Equity has managed to lure many. Equity maximized on this strategy to attract numbers encouraging everyone to open an account with them, with identification as the only requirement. In addition, Equity made loans available to low income earners, therefore, encouraging receipt of deposits.
|16,October,2014||Without doubt, Equity bank has emerged as the financial powerhouse
Clearly, Equity Bank has emerged the winner among local banks by applying extra ordinary strategies that have made it come out as a financial powerhouse. Equity has overtaken banks that had been in Kenya since independence in 1963. Huge banks would never give ‘sufferers’ attention the way Equity has responded to them. In fact, banking only belonged to the elite in the society until Equity appeared and opened doors with its ‘no deposit’ strategy attracting magnitudes. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Equity Bank has made it and it continues to grow every day. Other banks should follow suit.
|16,October,2014||Accolades and Recognition 2007-2010
|16,October,2014||Accolades and Recognition 2011-2012
|16,October,2014||Accolades and Recognition 2013