International Finance Corporation lends Kenyan Equity Bank $100 million

Customers arrive at a branch of the Equity Bank for money transactions in Kenya's capital Nairobi November 11, 2015.
  • IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $100 million (Sh 10 billion) subordinated loan to Equity Bank Kenya to grow its lending operations.
  • IFC’s loan facility will assist Equity Bank to increase its capital base and expand its lending program to small and medium enterprises.
  • Equity Bank is an existing IFC client and previous loans have helped support the growth of the Bank’s SME portfolio.

International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $100 million (Sh 10 billion) subordinated loan to Equity Bank Kenya to grow its lending operations.

IFC’s loan facility will assist Equity Bank to 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 per cent by 2020, with total potential financing of $29 billion annually by 2020.

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