Banks feted at sustainability initiative awards

Shamaz Savani

Kenya Bankers Association CEO Habil Olaka (left) watches as ABC Bank Group Managing Director Shamaz Savani (left) leads the lender's team in receiving their award at the Kenya Bankers Association's SFI Catalyst Awards. The bank was recognised for its efforts at creating value in the agriculture sector.

Photo credit: Pool

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) last week recognised various institutions during its annual Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) awards.

At the annual event, which was launched in 2016, banks are recognised based on their financial impact on the national economy and society at large.

KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said the winners had distinguished themselves by offering world-class services to their clients.

“By entrenching sustainable finance practices into the banks’ core day-to-day operations, we can fundamentally contribute to the fight against climate change, social exclusion and economic inequality,” said Dr Olaka.

The awards categories include Best in Sustainable Finance, Client Case Study–Best in Financing SME, Case Study–Best in Financing a Commercial Client, Case Study–Best in Bank Operations, Bank Case Study–Best in promoting Gender Inclusivity, Most Innovative Bank, Best Bank Response to Covid-19 pandemic and the Best overall award.

Cooperative Bank of Kenya topped overall, followed by Equity Bank of Kenya and Kenya Women Microfinance Bank.

ABC Bank was among the top in the Best in Financing and Commercial client category. The KBA feted ABC bank for creating long-term value for clients in the agricultural sector.

“We have demonstrated that innovative financing solutions can create long-term value for clients, especially in the agriculture sector, which is the biggest sector in Kenya’s economy,” ABC Bank Managing Director Shamaz Savani said at a press briefing that the award is a reflection of its commitment in ensuring that it promotes the sustainability agenda in all parts of the country where it operates.

 According to him, the bank was out to look at more ways it can improve and reach out to clients, especially in the agricultural sector which is the biggest employer in the country.

Another reason he gave is that it was clear that the government had decided to heavily invest in the sector.