15/03/2021 by Ochieng Oloo 0 Comments
PEOPLE, PLANET AND PROFIT – A TRIPLE BOTTOM-LINE APPROACH
KWFT has embedded and practices Sustainable Banking in its Business Strategy by employing the Triple Bottom Line approach to its financing i.e. People, Planet and Profit. This implies that in all of KWFT’s product offering, there has to be social impact to the customers and their households, conservation of the environment as well as sustainability (profit).
Being a customer centric bank, KWFT adheres to client protection principles at all levels of its operations. KWFT also encourages its customers to get involved in businesses that are environmentally friendly and undertakes free financial training to ensure the funded enterprises remain profitable and sustainable.
To ensure sustainability, KWFT has embraced green and renewable energy products to enable its customers conserve the environment. Some of KWFT offices are fully run on green energy.
KWFT also puts into consideration the environmental impact of its own operations as well as operations carried out by its customers, especially those in construction or manufacturing industries.
KWFT fully complies with statutory environmental regulations and works closely with the government bodies tasked with these regulations.
KWFT also has embraced Partnerships with key like minded Institutions with a view of attaining financial inclusion and bring banking services closer to the clients
Are you using the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors to measure your sustainability and the social impact
Yes, in order to ensure sustainability and social impact, KWFT adopted ESG as a standard in that it ensures the total wellbeing of all its stakeholders.
KWFT also has a very competent Board who practice sound Governance Practices. The team is made up of seasoned professionals rich in various fields. Currently the KWFT Board of Directors comprise of 10 Board Members out of which 7 are women giving a 70% women representation. Also various committee are set up within the Board to ensure sound decisions are undertaken on various facets of the business
The Institution has invested in a safe working environment for all its 2,504 staff spread in 241 offices within 45 Kenyan Counties. The Staff have various welfare benefits which include ownership of the Institution as well as a very inclusive medical scheme for the staff and their families. KWFT has strived to provide workplace support for expectant ladies and, thereafter, the lactating mothers for the first six months of the baby’s life. The aim is in improving maternal and infant wellbeing through making the workplace mother and baby friendly. All KWFT branches also have mother’s rooms which provide a comfortable environment for breastfeeding mothers when they visit the branch to carry out banking transactions.
KWFT has been a champion in the Inclusivity and thus has its strategic direction focused to support and empower low and middle income women and their families. The Institution has thus invested in a vast branch network of 241 offices as well as in technology to offer banking services to over 800,000 women clients a majority who are based in the rural areas. Most of these clients are viewed unbankable by conventional banks but KWFT has been able to support them to participate in economic activities sustainably.
The Institution also vets carefully the Partners it does business with to ensure that they have the same ethos as KWFT. In the procurement procedures of the Institution, women are encouraged to participate in tendering, when they have the necessary prerequisites. They are also given opportunities to be suppliers.
To ensure sustainability in its operations, KWFT puts into consideration its impact on the environment. This includes the operations of its partners as well as the businesses supported by its customers. KWFT takes a further step to ensure all its stakeholders comply with the statutory environmental guidelines.
How far are you from fully implementing the banking sector charter?
There are various milestones achieved in fully achieving the implementation of the Banking Charter to ensure customer experience is enhanced at the Institution. KWFT is currently at 50% of the implementation of the Banking Charter
How would you describe your performance for 2019 (One word)
Where did the growth come from if any?
KWFT rolled out its digital lending platform to its customers early in the year 2018. Due to its convenience, the customers impressively embraced the product, enabling it to grow exponentially within a very short time. In 2019 alone, KWFT was able to disburse a total of Kshs 2,472,336,860 on digital lending only.
Overall, how do you rate the quality of your loan portfolio?
Over the years, KWFT has been operating in a PAR that is less than 10%. By end of 2019, the PAR rose to 17%.
What is your average loan size and average loan repayment period?
Currently, KWFTs average loan size is Kshs 20,709
The Average Repayment Period is 12 months.
What is the distribution of your credit portfolio by sector .i.e. agriculture, manufacturing, construction, housing, trade and commerce etc?
How would you describe the performance of your bank for the past ten years?
Fairly good, considering the dynamism in which the financial sector environment operates in.
In the past ten years, KWFT has been able to transition from a credit only Microfinance Institution to a fully-fledged Microfinance Bank, regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.
With the transition, KWFT was able to increase its product offering and be a one stop shop for customers needing a variety of banking products and services eg KWFT customers have been able to benefit from Trade Financing, Forex, Local and International money transfers, Agribusiness products and Personal loans among other competitive products.
KWFT has also been able to register impressive growth in terms of core capital, branch network, infrastructure, customer base, Deposits and Outstanding Loan Balance making the Institution competitive within the banking industry.
What does the year 2020 and the next 10 years portend for your bank?
KWFT is currently pursuing several new strategies to enable it accomplish its Social Mission and reach deeper into rural areas to bring financial inclusion in marginalized areas.
The interest rate capping that has had a major impact on the banking sector has finally been scrapped. What does it mean for your bank and the industry?
For the Industry, it will mean that demand for credit will increase as Small and Medium Enterprises will now have more access to finances from Financial Institutions as Banks will have sufficient margin to compensate for risks. This will still lead to more competition in the Industry
There will be an increase in access to credit for various sectors of the economy which will increase the overall economic growth of the country.
More Banks are increasing their efforts to raise cheap deposits.
Financial Institutions will keep leveraging on technology such as mobile banking to improve efficiency. By doing this, Financial Institutions will save on costs associated with adoption of the traditional approach to Banking.
For KWFT, it will continue with its efforts to continue serving the low and middle income women in rural and marginalized areas with innovative and competitive products with a view to empower and uplift their living standards. It will continue investing in digital platforms to improve efficiency and convenience to the customers.
How has the removal of the law affected your financial performance so far?
So far not much, as the business curve is still very low.
Any new investments or advancements in ICT at the bank?
The major investments in 2019 have been in :
- Biometric System
- Cheque Truncation System to enhance Direct Clearing
- Enhanced Mobile Banking System with direct connectivity to Safaricom
- Digital Lending (M-Loan) and Utility Advance Loan
- Loan Tracking System
- Lease Management System
- Group Digital Platform (Ongoing)
Does your bank have a mobile money lending platform? What is the loan uptake from the platform and the overall quality of the loans taken?
Yes, KWFT has a mobile banking Platform. In 2019, KWFT disbursed a total of Ksh 2,472,336,860 in the platform.
How is Pesalink’s usage as compared to, EFT, RTGS and other funds transfer methods?
KWFT client’s adoption of PesaLink is fairly good. Clients use the channel and enjoy convenience of the real time bank to bank transfers at their own comfort.
What is the growth trend in the adoption of online and mobile technology in your bank?
The growth of usage of mobile banking platform has increased rapidly. This is due to its affordability and convenience enjoyed by the customer.
Any changes on your business model?
No change in the Business Model.
How is the scrapping of interest rate cap going to affect your strategy?
Not much as KWFT will still focus on Micro Clients and seek ways to make products more affordable and accessible to customers by incorporating digital banking.
What is your growth plan, where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
KWFT envisions a 20% growth on a compounded annual basis.
How would you describe our macroeconomic environment currently (globally and locally)?
Various factors in the Macro Environment have adversely affected business decisions on things such as spending, borrowing, and investing.
Thus the Kenyan Economic Growth is expected to slow this year due to adverse effects of
the coronavirus pandemic, locusts invasion which might lead to high levels of inflation, unemployment and lower consumer spend.
What do you see as the biggest threats to Kenya’s banking sector?
- Cyber risks- Clients and staff are exposed to threats such as email fraud, phishing and malware.
- Increase of unregulated digital lenders.
- Government Interventions.
What are the next growth drivers in Kenya’s banking sector and why do you think so?
Automation and Digitization. Business automation streamlines routine transactions, giving human tellers more time to focus on helping customers with complex needs. With the increasing use of mobile deposits, direct deposits and online banking, many banks find that customer traffic to branch offices is declining.
BOARD OF KWFT DIRECTORS
- Dr. Jaine Mwai
- Zipporah Mogaka
- Mwangi Githaiga – Managing Director
- Dr. Jennifer Riria
- Lily Musinga
- Sharlynne Mbai
- Mercy Kiogora
- Godfrey Kaindoh
- Kariuki Kitabu
- Nancy Mwangi
KWFT EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
- Mwangi Githaiga- Managing Director
- Nancy Mwangi- Operations Director
- Kariuki Kitabu- Finance & Strategy Director
- Jackline Kerubo – Director Credit Administration
- George Kinyanjui- Director Microfinance
- Kibet Kipkemoi- Director ICT
AUDITORS - As at 31st Dec 2019 – Deloitte and Touche