Kenya's leading Bank Equity and China Development Bank have announced a Kenya shillings 4 Billion credit facility for Small and medium enterprise businesses.The credit/loan facility will attract low interest rates of between 7% to 9 % for periods of up to 9%. The announcement heralds good times for many small business entrepreneurs who often face punitive interest rates and harsh terms when trying to secure Business loans.
Since its early start as a micro finance institution Equity Bank Kenya Limited has blazzed trail as the Bank for the common Mwananchi(Citizen). In fact my first Bank account after finishing campus was with Equity Bank as they were the only Bank that did not require Bank Statements, Utility Bills in prospective account Holders Name and letters of introduction from two current customers in the respective Bank Branch. I found such requirements quite absurd and against the spirit behind Banking and what led to the formation of Banks in the first place.Its for such reasons that Equity Bank has continued to steadily increase its customer base.Quite recently the Bank won the African Banker Awards Micro-finance Bank of The Year.
Equity Bank also has innovative products such as the recent launch of the branch-less Mobile Banking /phone based account M-Kesho in partnership with Safaricom's M-Pesa.The M-Kesho product will be a favourite to many middle and low income earners who have proved to be the driving force behind Equity's growth. KCB's Bankika account seems to be afterthought with intent to rival Equity's dominance of the low income earners segment of the market.Thanks to Equity's competitive products Banking has become accessible to people who previously would only have dreamt of owning a Bank Account.
Furthermore the Bank continues to register increased profit margins on 23rd April 2010 … Equity Bank Group announced a 43 per cent per cent increase in profits before tax for its first quarter in the current financial year, posting a Kshs 1.7 billion profit compared to Kshs 1.2 Billion for the same period last year.That is the kind of news any investor would be happy to hear.
Furthermore Equity Bank seems now to on a drive to fund,enhance and support small business.I believe on behalf of many Kenyans and many "Nairobians" we certainly are thankful to Equity Bank for the benefits reaped so far.