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Co-op Bank sets aside Sh15.2b for small firms

Zachary Ochuodho @zachuodho

Co-operative Bank has launched a packaged financial solution for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) after receiving Sh15.2 billion from International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The financial solution is segmented in bronze, silver and gold for micro, small and medium businesses respectively. Co-operative Bank Acting Director, Retail and Business Banking, Arthur Muchangi (pictured) said the financial institution received the funds from the global lender, part of the World Bank Group, earlier this year.

“We are confident of delivering on this promise to MSMEs as we now have the product, we have the people and most important we have the money,” he said during the launch event in Nairobi yesterday. “Our partnership with IFC enabled us to access a substantial Sh15.2 billion kitty for on-lending to Kenyan MSMEs,” he added.

Muchangi  said the bank is committed to ensuring that a minimum of 20 per cent of its lending goes to the MSME sector. He said the bank is aligning itself with the government’s Big Four agenda in a bid to enable it to realise this critical agenda for growth in the country. MSMEs are key in the realisation of the agenda.

The bank, he said, has over the past one year in partnership with IFC used resources, customer engagements and research work to understand the dynamics of this critical business segment.

Muchangi said the MSME customer expects adaptive banking solutions and for the bank to remain relevant and meet the specific needs of the customer, it has had to re-engage, refresh and reposition its offering.

Mose Gitau, Head of Business Banking said Co-op Bank is the only bank in Kenya which kept on lending at a time when almost the entire sector stopped lending to the MSME sector, saying they were risky.

Muchangi said the bank has trained its staff at the branches to effectively handle the MSMEs, adding: “The vision for the new MSME offering from Co-op Bank is to grow world-class entrepreneurs beyond the Kenyan borders”.

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