One Industry. Transforming Kenya

Banks Feted For Excellence In Embedding Sustainable Finance Initiatives

Nairobi 15th November 2019 - Cooperative Bank has once again been announced as this year's overall winner of the Sustainable Finance Initiative Catalyst Awards for financial service providers. An independent judging panel placed Equity Bank Group second overall position and KWFT in the third position.

Themed Recognizing Catalytic Finance that Impacts Industry, Economy and Society, the award was unveiled in 2016 by the Kenya Bankers Association to celebrate institutions that have embedded the SFI Guiding Principles. The awards attracted 47 entries from 14 financial institutions. The awards ceremony was presided over by Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge.

The awards finalists included ABC Bank, Barclays/Absa, Co-operative Bank, Credit Bank, DTB, Equity Bank Group, Faulu Microfinance Bank, KCB Group, KWFT, National Bank, NCBA, Rafiki Microfinance Bank, Stanbic Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

In his remarks during the awards gala that brought together a wide range of stakeholders from the financial services sector, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge noted that commendable strides had been achieved by the initiative in building capacity of bank employees on sustainable finance.

"I am informed that over 28 thousand bank employees have been trained to have an appreciation of ensuring that their financing decision is guided by the wider societal concerns of the environment and the economy," noted Dr. Njoroge, urging the banking industry to embrace a forward-looking approach while financing commercial activities.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka said Kenya's banking industry has tremendous potential in aiding the country to transition into a green economy.

"As envisaged in Kenya's Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan, the country needs about KES. 2.4 trillion to attain this feat. I am glad that green bonds were identified as one of the innovative tools that can lead to this transition. With the interest rate cap repealed by parliament, I believe it will unlock bank green bond issuance in the near future".

Dr. Olaka highlighted the importance of the SFI Catalyst Awards, saying they signify that the industry is putting measures and identifying clear performance indicators which will safeguard our global competitiveness and secure a better future for this nation.

The Award categories were as follows:

  1. Best in Sustainable Finance
  2. Case Study:
    1. Client Case Study - SME
    2. Client Case Study - Commercial
    3. Bank Case Study - Operations
    4. Bank Case Study - Promoting Gender Inclusivity
    5. Bank Case Study - Financing the Informal Sector
  3. Sustainability Through Policy & Governance
  4. Most improved Bank Award
  5. Best Overall Award

The judging panel for the 2019 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards consisted of Ms. Joyce Njogu (Consulting Head - Kenya Manufacturers Association). Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi ( Business and Sustainable Development - University of Edinburg), Dr. Peter Muriu (Financial Economics Consultant), Mr. Sandy Okoth (SFI Expert-WWF), Eng. Dan Likuyi Ndenga (Chemical Engineer), with support from Ms. Nuru Mugambi(KBA).

Established in 2016 by KBA, the awards recognise catalytic finance initiatives that impact the industry, the economy and society. This year, 47 institutions submitted entries, showcasing ways by which they have integrated sustainability in lending and business operations.

2019 Catalyst Awards Winners:


Category 1 - Best in Sustainable Finance

Position

Bank

1st Place

Standard Chartered Bank

2nd Place

Co-operative Bank

3rd Place

Equity Bank Group

Category 2 A: Client Case Study -Financing Small and Medium Enterprises

Position

Bank

1st Place

Co-operative Bank

2nd Place

KWFT

3rd Place

Equity Bank Group

Category 2 B: Client Case Study -Financing Commercial Client

Position

Bank

1st

Equity Bank Group

2nd

CBA

3rd

Co-operative Bank

Category 2 C:  Bank Case Study - Operations

Position

Bank

1st Place

Standard Chartered Bank

2nd Place

Co-operative Bank

3rd Place

Equity Bank Group

Category 2 D: Bank Case Study - Promoting Gender Inclusivity

Position

Bank

1st Place

KWFT

2nd Place

Equity Bank Group

3rd Place

Standard Chartered Bank

Category 2 E:  Financing the Informal Sector

Position

Bank

1st Place

Equity Bank Group

2nd Place

Co-operative Bank

3rd Place

National Bank

Category 3: Most Innovative Bank

Position

Bank

1st Place

Equity Bank Group

2nd Place

Standard Chartered Bank

3rd Place

Co-operative Bank

Category 4: Best in Sustainable Finance int the East Africa Region

Position

Bank

1st Place

CBA

2nd Place

KCB

3rd Place

 No Award

Best Overall Winner

Position

Bank

1st Place

Co-operative Bank

2nd Place

Equity Bank Group

3rd Place

KWFT

 

 

Most Improved Bank

Position

Bank

 

KWFT

 

About the Sustainable Finance Guiding Principles & Industry Standards

The Kenya banking industry in March 2015 adopted the Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) Guiding Principles that guide the banks in balancing their business goals with the economy's development priorities and socio-environmental concerns. The SFI Principles that were officially launched by the Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge on 1st December 2015 are grounded in three main priorities, namely equipping the financial services sector to perform optimally in the area of comprehensive risk management; enhancing business practice, leadership and governance; and promoting industry growth and development by fostering a culture of innovation and inclusivity enabled by new technology.

The Principles draw from and harmonize several global best practice standards, including the Equator Principles, IFC Performance Standards, Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles, African Development Bank (AfDB) Green Growth Policy, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Reporting Guidelines, UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) Guidelines, UN Global Compact Principles, ISO 26000:2010, and Kenya's National Climate Change Policy (draft).

Media Contacts:

Ms. Nuru Mugambi, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Kenya Bankers Association Phone: +254-20-2221704/2224014, Email: nmugambi@kba.co.ke

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