At a time when credit to the SME sector is strained as commercial banks redirect loans to investments deemed more secure like government bonds in reaction to the capping of interest rates on loans; Victoria Bank aims to stand out.
The bank is looking to expand its lending to the SME sector after recently acquiring funding from a Swedish Development Financier. “On April 18, 2018, Victoria Commercial Bank Ltd finalised a placement of $5 million of a subordinated tier-2 complaint loan from Swedfund, said the bank in a statement.
Speaking on the investment, Victoria Bank CEO Yogesh Pattni said, “It’s an indication that smaller banking institutions can also have Development Finance Institutions (DFI) as partners with proper and credible management, Victoria is happy to be a conduit for increased disbursement of loans to the SME sector, which is a key driver of economic growth and job creation in Kenya.”
The funding partner, Swedfund is a development financial institution owned by the Swedish government that provides funding and investment in low and middle-income countries.
The bank has been in existence since 1987 and focuses on lending to large corporations, high net worth individuals and SMEs. Victoria bank has had zero defaults on loans in the last 10 years except for last year where filings of trading for the six months to June 2017 showed that it had sh18.4 million in non-performing loans and advances to customers.
However, the bank had instituted recovery efforts as reported by the Daily Nation, this loan default was against a total of sh15.5 billion in loans advanced in the same period that were successfully repaid. For the year ended December 2017, Victoria Bank grew its net loans and advances by 23 percent to sh18.8 billion from sh15.6billion the previous year. Additionally, the bank’s net profit grew to sh617 in the same period up from sh592 billion the previous year.