by Martin Oduor
2017 was generally a bad year for business in Kenya. Co-op Bank managed to record a profit before tax of Kes 16.4 billion for full year 2017 in a very challenging economic environment in the period.
The 16.4 billion is however a drop in the bank’s profit. Co-op Bank reported a Sh17.7 billion profit in 2016, therefore the Sh.16.4 billion profit for 2017 is a marginal 7.3% drop.
The bank is therefore pleased with the 2017 performance against the backdrop of one of the most challenging operating environments that business had to contend with in the year, with interest rate caps and lower economic growth in an election year.
The good performance represents the tangible benefits arising from the bold ‘Soaring Eagle’ Transformation Project that the bank has been implementing since 2014 with a clear focus on improving operating efficiencies, sales-force effectiveness and innovative customer delivery platforms.
Notably, the cost-to-income ratio has progressively improved from a high of 59% in 2014 to 52% in 2017.
Notable performance highlights include the following;-
· Total assets grew by Kshs 35 billion (+10%) to Kshs. 386.9 billion.
· Lending to customers continues, with loans growing by Kshs 17 billion (+7%) to Kshs. 253.9 billion.
· Customer deposits grew 9% to Kshs 287.7 billion.
· The bank closed the year with a solid capital base, with total capital against total risk-weighted assets at 22%, 7.5% above the statutory minimum of 14.5%.
· 87% of all customer transactions have been migrated to alternative delivery channels, allowing bank staff to spend more time serving customers critical needs as opposed to punching routine transactions.
· The Group now serves 7 million account-holders across all sectors.
· Key focus is on digital banking, with the Mco-op Cash mobile wallet enrolling 3.6 Million customers.
· The Bank continues to grow partnership with the co-operative movement that has expanded the retailing of bank services through 560 Sacco FOSAs and issued over 1 million Sacco-Link cards.
· The Bank Board has recommended the payment of a dividend at the rate of 80 cents per every ordinary share, subject to approval by CMA.
· The Bank continues to support worthy social causes through the Co-op Bank Foundation, which has so far supported 6,303 gifted but needy students from all regions of Kenya since the inception of the program in 2007.
The Co-operative Bank Group was a big winner at the Kenya Bankers Association Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards 2017 where the bank emerged Overall Winner as a result of building a sustainability strategy that enables people, businesses and society to grow in a way that is most sustainable in the long-term.
“Sustainability is fully integrated in our business model that stands on the three pillars of Economic sustainability, Social sustainability and Environmental stewardship. As a bank that is predominantly-owned by the 15 million-member Co-operative Movement, we are inclusive by design that has not only enabled us to deliver shared prosperity today, but also helped us build an awareness and prudence to avoid putting future generations in jeopardy,” said Dr. Gideon Muriuki, Group Managing Director & CEO Co-operative Bank on the award.
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