The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has emerged as the titleholder of the 2021 Sustainable Finance Initiative Catalyst Award, followed by Equity Bank at position two and Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT) at third place.
The Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) award launched in 2016 by the Kenya Bankers Association seeks to recognize banks that practice catalytic finance that impacts the banking industry, the country’s economy, and the society at large.
With funding support from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the award sought to honour banks that had embedded the industry’s sustainable finance guiding principles in their fundamental operations as well as lending practices.
Co-operative Bank also led in the category of the Most Innovative Bank, a category that acknowledged banks for their utilization of technology to reach the untapped and marginalized market segments as well as the effect of technology in their service delivery to their customers.
Standard Chartered Bank clinched position two followed by Equity Bank at the third position.
The lender also took first place in the category that assessed bank activities in Financing Commercial Clients followed by ABC Bank in second place and Equity Bank of Kenya in third place.
This category recognized the banks for financing commercial clients’ business operations, projects or investments in a way that created long-term value which leads to growth, efficiency, innovation and expansions to new markets for the client.
In the category of Best Bank in Financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Equity Bank Kenya scooped position one followed by Sidian Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya which emerged second and third respectively.
Commenting on the award, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka commended the winners as they rubber-stamped the strides the industry is taking to ensure they carry out their investment activities responsibly in line with international best practices.