Equity Bank has been feted as SME Bank of the Year – Africa, at the prestigious IFC Global SME Finance Awards, taking the platinum award at a ceremony held in Madrid, Spain. The award is endorsed by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).
The Global SME Finance Awards recognizes outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients. The award targets institutions that have successfully launched innovative products or services for SME clients, achieved remarkable results in providing finance to SMEs or been an innovator in digital financial services.
The winners were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants and were vetted by a panel of judges representing financial institutions, investors, fintech companies, and development banks. The judges looked at parameters such as the number of MSMEs financed and volume of financing, original ideas and cutting-edge innovation, the performance and impact of projects/products/services, and flexibility to changes and progressive opportunities.
Speaking during the award ceremony, SME Finance Forum CEO Mr. Matthew Gamser congratulated all the winners of the inaugural Global SME Finance Awards.
“These awards celebrate the best-in-class financial institutions and fintech’s that have achieved remarkable results in their SME product or service offerings. Our winners are diverse, but they all share a strong commitment to helping small businesses in their markets with their dedication and innovative practices. The winners are an inspiration to us and their peers,” he said.
Equity Bank’s core business and service offering is geared toward MSMEs, which command 69.8 per cent of its total loan book and 76.7 per cent of its total deposits.
While receiving the award, Equity Bank SME Banking General Manager Mr. Jeremy Kamau said the Bank is a pacesetter in several banking trends that have supported MSMEs including digital innovation.
“Equity Bank has revolutionized banking by breaking barriers of geography time and space. We leveraged the power of technology with the objective of self-disruption and virtualization to change the bank from ‘where you go’ to ‘what you do’. This revolution has created sustainability of financial access and placed the power of banking in the hands of the customers, giving them freedom, choice and control,” he said.