Stanbic registered a Ksh 3.5 billion after-tax profit for the first half of the year 2021, a 37% improvement from the previous year. This is an impressive performance for the bank despite the continued challenging operating environment brought on by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The bank’s performance demonstrates solid business momentum and optimism of the various interventions put in place to enable the institution to sail through the different phases and related effects of the pandemic.
Looking at the institution’s strategy in the first half of the year, Stanbic rolled out various solutions that have improved client experience and expediency while driving scale in the main market segment. The solutions range from the flexibility to buy motor insurance in less than 10 minutes through the Stansure app, to real-time access to Foreign Exchange rates on mobile and digital lending on mobile apps which are also expected to contribute to the bottom line in the second half of this year. This speaks to the bank’s future-ready digital transformation journey that continues to simplify the banking experience in a way that empowers the customer and gives them more control.
Speaking to this strategy, Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Mudiwa said, “We started the year by repositioning our brand through a message of hope dubbed, ‘It Can be’. This message speaks to the commitment and support that drive us to deliver on our promise. We have realigned our strategy to focus more on our customer needs through our client-centered value proposition and providing innovative solutions that are empowering and blend in with their lifestyle.”
On his part, the Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Abraham Ongenge speaking on the financial highlights, said, “The bank’s profit after tax was supported by double digit revenue growth and improved credit losses. Net interest earnings grew by 9% on account of loan book growth and improved margins. The interest rates have relatively been muted with the benchmark rate maintained at 7% from last year.” He further noted that on a positive note, the inflation rate has remained within the government target range of between 2.5% and 7.5% despite an increase in fuel prices.
Looking at the bank’s engagements with key stakeholders, Stanbic has initiated several partnership agreements centered around the socioeconomic development of the country amounting to Ksh 240 million. Remaining true to its purpose of driving Kenya’s economic growth, Stanbic partnered with Microsoft Kenya and the Ministry of Trade and Industrialization through the Stanbic Kenya Foundation to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by building their capacity and equipping them with digital skills through the FutureNiDigital campaign. They have further partnered with United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to provide grants to MSMEs, cooperatives, and producer groups in Kenya.
The bank continues to champion women entrepreneurs through the DADA proposition and support them in their financial and non-financial endeavors. This year, the bank celebrated the second DADA anniversary having signed up a total of 12,000 women and have further trained over 6,500 individuals and business owners on business best practices.
The bank is also keen on sustainability and has invested in green financing. When the first green bond was issued in Kenya in 2019 through Acorn, the bank was instrumental in facilitating this monumental deal, making it the most impactful and sustainably led project finance deal in the nation’s history. This year, Stanbic and SBG Securities then became the lead arrangers and placing agents on the Acorn Project (Two) Limited Liability Partnership (“Acorn” or the “Issuer”), the issuer of the Acorn Green Bond which is a Medium-Term Note Programme.
The bank’s performance has also been recognized through significant milestones such as the Best Investment Awards. An award the bank has received for the third year by Euro Money Awards for Excellence 2021. This unique recognition honors Stanbic for its outstanding expertise in structuring and implementing complex transactions in the region including debt arranging, loan syndication, capital markets, and advisory service. In addition, the bank continues to provide insights and analysis to the public on the economic performance of the country through the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) monthly report.
Looking at the bank’s business in South Sudan, Stanbic continues to remain profitable as it maintains intermediate foreign currency flows for its clients and keep costs under control, ensuring that business continued to be transactional, and liability led. The bank continues to invest in digital capabilities such as Business Online and Mobile banking in South Sudan to allow it to better serve its clients and bring down costs of operating in the country.
Mr. Mudiwa further added that the Group will continue to build its client-centered strategy to ensure resilience, growth, and be a differentiator in order to remain competitive in this dynamic operating environment.