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Kenyan banking seeks affordable loans, deeper innovation

Kenya’s banking industry plans to intensify efforts towards deepening financial inclusion across all segments of the economy by facilitating access to affordable banking services through enhanced technological innovation and sector-wide efficiency programs.The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Strategic Plan (2019-2023), which was unveiled on Wednesday in Nairobi, indicates that the industry will also devote more focus to advocating for vibrant and responsive policy and regulatory frameworks for financial sector sustainability.

Other top pillars in the plan include enhancing the association’s members’ engagement and boosting the capacity of the advocacy group’s Secretariat.

In his remarks, KBA Chairman and KCB Group Managing Director Mr. Joshua Oigara expressed KBA’s satisfaction for emerging as the primary voice of the financial services sector and a key facilitator of banking industry growth and development. 

He said the new strategic plan will ensure the Association continues to be relevant to banks and the banking public.

“We recognize as banks that our market is dynamic, and we face increased competition internally across banks and externally from new entrants such as non-bank FinTech’s. Our plan is to ensure we stay connected to our customers by improving service delivery, lowering the cost of banking services and advocating for an enabling environment that promotes financial services innovation,” Oigara noted.

Registered as an industry association on 16th July 1962 mainly to negotiate union contracts and, as far as possible, standardize management practices, KBA has grown into the financial services sector’s leading advocacy group.

Over time, its role has evolved to include promoting industry development and economic growth by engaging the National Government and sector regulators, primarily Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and Capital Markets Authority.

Most recently, KBA further promoted industry efficiency with the introduction of East Africa’s first peer-to-peer and peer-to-government instant digital payments platform, PesaLink. 

Since its debut in 2017, bank customers have transacted in excess of Ksh 180 billion shillings via the PesaLink service which has interconnected 31 banks, creating a 24-7 banking ecosystem.

“We aim to consolidate gains from the previous strategic plan which saw the industry introduce the innovative PesaLink platform and the KBA Secretariat enhance its research-based advocacy agenda,” said KBA Chief Executive Dr. Habil Olaka.

 “The key issues we engaged on in the previous planning period were very much based on adjusting to new regulations and policies. This new plan moves beyond these dynamics to get closer to our primary stakeholders, namely the banking public, through better and cheaper service delivery,” he added.

Dr. Olaka noted that industry risks in the area of cyber risks, money laundering and related perils, as well as, macroeconomic dynamics, have led to the sector investing heavily on enterprise risk management frameworks.

 He said the industry will continue to focus on these areas to preserve shareholder value while delivering services to Kenyans.

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