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IFC Supports Equity Bank’s Plans to Grow SME and Climate Finance Lending in Kenya


In Nairobi
Name: Everlyne Situma
Phone: +254 701 961 045
E-mail: esituma@ifc.org

Name: Alex Muhia
Phone: +254 763 618 871
E-mail: alex.muhia@equitybank.co.ke

Nairobi, Kenya April 4, 2019— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $100 million subordinated loan to Equity Bank Kenya to grow its lending operations Kenya. IFC’s loan facility will assist Equity Bank increase its capital base and expand its lending program to small and medium enterprises and climate finance operations that support renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency, and climate smart agricultural projects in Kenya.

IFC will offer Equity Bank global knowledge in the SME and climate finance sectors, enhancing Equity’s ability to improve its environmental and social risk management system, develop a green lending strategy and build capacity for staff in key business units and target branches.

“Equity Bank’s expanded partnership with IFC will further strengthen our ability to deliver on a shared commitment to increasing financial inclusion and green finance. Equity Bank aims to disrupt the market by offering innovative financial products and services, and by pushing ourselves to ensure access to financial services are more readily available in Kenya,” said James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank Group.  

Equity Bank focuses on extending financial services to under-served consumers and businesses. It pioneered agency banking in Kenya to broaden financial inclusion. In the process it made financial services accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural areas. Through its foundation, Equity Group trained nearly two million low-income women, youth, and micro-entrepreneurs in financial literacy, and 25,303 micro and small-scale entrepreneurs in advanced small business development.

Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, said, “Our loan to Equity Bank helps an existing client expand and strengthen its lending in key areas. It promotes IFC’s climate action strategy in the financial sector, mainstreaming climate across different areas, including small and medium businesses.”

Equity Bank is an existing IFC client and previous loans have helped support the growth of the Bank’s SME portfolio. The new loan supports the World Bank Group’s Climate Action Plan, which aims at increasing IFC’s global climate-related portfolio from 21 to 28 percent by 2020, with a total potential financing of $29 billion annually by 2020.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About Equity Bank Kenya
Equity Bank Kenya is the Kenyan banking subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc, a leading banking group in East Africa present in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo. Equity Group is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange and Rwanda Securities Exchange. The Bank’s history is deeply rooted in low-income banking as it was established in 1984 as a mortgage provider for low-income individuals in Kenya, named Equity Building Society, and was converted into a full-service inclusive commercial bank in 2005. The Bank has a substantial nationwide presence in Kenya through its distribution network – the largest in the country. For more information, visit www.ke.equitybankgroup.com/

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