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Kenya Bankers Association Statement on Imperial Bank being placed under recievership- 14th October 2015

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on 13th October 2015 appointed Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) to assume management and control of Imperial Bank Ltd. for a period of 12 months.

In a joint statement issued by the regulators, the market has been advised that CBK and Capital Markets Authority are working closely with the Board of Imperial Bank and KDIC (Formerly Deposit Protection Fund Board).

The press statement by the regulators advises that the developments at Imperial Bank were in fact brought to the attention of CBK by the Board of Directors of Imperial Bank. It is therefore our view that this issue is isolated to the bank, and is neither systemic nor an indication of instability in the banking sector overall.

Furthermore, Central Bank in a separate statement issued on 13th October 2015 has assured members of the public that Kenya’s banking sector remains safe and robust.

Central Bank also has confirmed the speculated list of banks facing closure, which is circulating on social media, is a rumour that is best avoided.

For questions and queries regarding Imperial Bank, please contact KDIC during office hours, Monday to Friday – 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, on telephone number 0770887992/2863813 or by e-mail address: customerservice@depositinsurance.go.ke.

For specific questions about ABC Bank, please write to talk2us@abcthebank.com or call/WhatsApp 0701 700 700.

ABC Bank reaches out to UK Diaspora with GBP Debit card- 14th August 2015

ABC Bank has become the first Kenyan bank to introduce a British Pound (GBP) Debit MasterCard.

The new card is suitable for Diaspora customers in the UK. Kenyan business and leisure travelers to the UK can also deposit GBP in their ABC Bank accounts and access it while in the UK, thereby avoiding exchange rate losses. The card is also useful for UK expatriates. It provides them easy and convenient access to their funds held in their ABC Bank accounts. It also allows them to withdraw cash at MasterCard ATMs, pay for goods and services at point of sale terminals in the UK, and over the internet. Additionally, the card is EMV enabled, making it a secure substitute for cash.

The introduction of this card is part of the bank’s strategy to bolster its strategy for Diaspora customer acquisition. ABC Bank’s Head of Diaspora Banking, David Mburu said the bank entered the UK market last year and has sustained a marketing campaign to grow its presence there as recognition of the growth of the segment.

Mburu added: “Convenience to the customer is always the starting point for us; it forms an integral part of our consumer strategy as a bank.”

The launch of the GBP debit card comes at a time when there is a growing number of local entrepreneurs importing and exporting commodities between Kenya and the UK and addresses the challenge of carrying cash while traveling.

“If you have a business in Kenya and you need GBP in UK then this is your solution. You can deposit your GBP in Kenya, and shop with the GBP card in UK. It doesn’t get better than that,” noted ABC Bank General Manager, Peter Kinyanjui.

“ABC Bank recognizes the important role Kenyans in Diaspora are playing in economic development here at home, and we are giving them value added services to catalyze and facilitate that process. With the benefit of convenient access, our Diaspora customers can now bank here the same way they would in the UK,” added Kinyanjui.

Last year, the bank launched a US Dollar debit card and a money transfer solution that allows Kenyans in the Diaspora to transfer funds from their accounts to mobile wallets. Locally, the bank launched a four-in-one prepaid card in partnership with EMO Society. The Emo Connect card, designed for both Diaspora and local members, is a prepaid bank account card, insurance card, membership card and loyalty card, all in one.

Furthermore, the bank will soon launch a multi-currency card, which will facilitate the convenient usage of different currencies including the Dollar, Rand, Dirham and the British Pound.

In addition to offering them custom-made financial solutions, the bank also provides Diaspora customers with professional advice on investment opportunities available in Kenya and gives them the necessary financial support for investment.

Emo launch

Rift Valley farmers get payment card solution from ABC Bank and EMO Society – 20 June, 2015

Farmers in the Rift Valley region can now receive payments for their produce as well as make payments for various farm inputs and services using a first-of-its kind debit card courtesy of ABC Bank and EMO Society. Emoconnect Mastercard is a bouquet of benefits; it is a prepaid bank account card, insurance card, membership card and loyalty card, all in one.

Besides the numerous benefits, the card addresses the challenge of carrying multiple cards, caters for local and Diaspora members, can be used for online transactions and is also EMV compliant, making it secure to use.

The society has over 17,000 members both in Kenya and the Diaspora, and had been working on identifying a suitable membership card for its members. Additionally, members have in the past lost their crops or livestock to natural occurrences without compensation because of lack of affordable insurance cover.

They and their families have also not had access to medical cover, thus incurring huge healthcare costs. However, with the new card solution, members now have a reprieve in form of highly discounted insurance products courtesy of Emo Partners Madison, AMACO and APA Insurances.

Members will access their funds through a wide range of outlets which include ABC Bank Branches and Agents, all Kenswitch ATMs and all Mastercard branded ATM’s worldwide. On the other hand they can top up their Emoconnect cards at all ABC Bank branches/agents, Emo Agency outlets or via Mpesa.

“ABC Bank is confident that this product is truly revolutionary and ushers in a new way of accessing financial services for Emo Society members, and will enable them fully exploit the benefits of the integrated services at affordable cost and user friendly system”, said ABC Bank Card Centre Manager, Dominic Muriithi, during the launch.

With this new product, Emo Society intends to reach out to other potential members to take up the Connect card and start enjoying the benefits that come with it. EMO encouraged members to take up the card in large numbers.

“The society is committed to working with various partners to negotiate for more benefits that will enable all members to tap in. With the new card, members who would otherwise be transacting using cash now have the option of operating with a less risky cashless mode”, explained an Emo Representative at the launch.

To make it easy to apply for the card, the society has introduced a mobile solution whereby members would dial *269*90# and they will be guided accordingly. Cards will be delivered to be collected at a nearest Emo Agent. This is truly digital added the Emo Representative.

Muriithi added: The introduction of this card has comes at the right time when devolution has indeed opened up the counties, making them new business hubs in the regions. That means an increased need for comprehensive yet tailor-made financial solutions to facilitate growth and success in business.

Google Hangout

ABC Bank scores a first with entrepreneurship Google+ Hangout – 26 May, 2015

In a bid to engage and connect with customers and the general online community, ABC Bank has trodden where most Kenyan corporates dread. The bank has become the first financial institution to host a Google+ Hangouts on Air, dubbed #ABCofBiz.

The highly successful session is the first in a series of similar hangouts that the bank plans to conduct to enhance its visibility and customer acquisition by exploiting technology.

The hangout brought together a panel of different extractions of expertise to discuss ‘common mistakes entrepreneurs make’ and ways of avoiding them to propel their businesses to success. The panelists included Professor Bitange Ndemo from the University of Nairobi, June Gathoni, Director SME Resource Centre, entrepreneurs Eric Kinoti, Murori Kiunga and pioneer comedian Churchill Ndambuki.

Although many Kenyan corporates have Google+ accounts, few have used hangouts to interact with their customers. The hangout attracted hundreds of viewers online and generated a lot of audience engagement. This is attributable to the large online community of young tech-savvy entrepreneurs whose emergence has heralded a new era of heightened competition for the millions of social media users in Kenya, majority of whom had their first internet experience on their mobile phones.

Using Google+ Hangouts to interact with customers offers business several benefits, such as the luxury of meeting many clients simultaneously without leaving the office, fast feedback on products and services, and the ability to produce own content at a low cost, which can be published on YouTube.

Amecea ground breaking

ABC Bank in Ksh. 700 million AMECEA project funding – 26th May, 2015

ABC Bank has financed a Ksh. 700 m construction project by AMECEA (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa) in the up-market Lavington area of Nairobi. The ground breaking ceremony was held on 26th May.

ABC Bank Group CEO Sridhar Natarajan and Group General Manager Peter Kinyanjui attended the ground breaking ceremony. “Through this financing agreement, we are reaffirming our commitment to support our customers’ aspirations. Our vision is to enable you achieve the extra ordinary, and I believe what we are witnessing here today is beyond the ordinary”, said the Group CEO during the ceremony.

The new property will be located in Nairobi’s up market, Lavington area. Once complete the property will house a shopping mall, furnished apartments and offices. This is expected to plug the gap in the property market demand.

AMECEA is an institution of the Catholic Church in Eastern Africa, which exists to empower the society financially, alleviate poverty and support sustainable development in the region. This construction project will create a sustainable revenue stream to enable the organization fulfill its mandate.

Similarly, ABC Bank’s strategy is anchored on a commitment to contributing to the improvement of livelihoods of Kenyans. To achieve this, the bank continues to seek collaborations with like-minded institutions to support initiatives that will advance that objective.

Banking Awards-2015

ABC Bank wins Think Business Product Innovation Award – 8th May, 2015

ABC Bank trounced the large pack of entries in this year’s Think Business Awards to emerge 1st Runners Up in the Best Bank in Product Innovation category. The award winning product was the electronic Warehouse Receipt Financing solution the bank introduced in March in partnership with East Africa Exchange (EAX).

The solution enables farmers protect their produce against storage-related damage and negotiate for better prices.

We’re glad that our efforts to develop revolutionary products are being recognized by industry experts. This award signifies the strength of our business, the efforts of our staff and most importantly, the continued support from our customers.

EAX partnership signing 2015

ABC Bank and East Africa Exchange sign warehouse receipt financing agreement- 10th March, 2015

ABC Bank has signed an agreement with East Africa Exchange (EAX) to help grain farmers and traders obtain financing against their produce deliveries. This will also enable farmers protect their produce against storage-related damage and negotiate for better prices.

With warehouse receipt finance, a farmer or trader will deliver his produce to a warehouse that has been approved by the bank. The bank will then issue a receipt vouching for the quantity and quality of produce being stored. The bank will then take the receipt as collateral and provide financing to the farmer or trader.

Through the deal, ABC Bank will provide finance for electronic warehouse receipts to grain farmers and traders supported by EAX, provide clearing and settlement services platform integrated with the national payment systems and mobile banking solutions.

“ABC Bank is committed to providing customized financial solutions to small and medium enterprises, including agribusinesses,” said ABC Bank Group Managing Director, Shamaz Savani, noting that agriculture is a key economic pillar that ought to be supported through financial partnerships to ensure the country attains food security to support the growing population.

EAX is a commodity exchange that aims to increase regional market efficiency and give the East Africa’s growing population, particularly smallholder farmers, better access to commercial markets, and link them to agricultural and financial markets so they can get competitive pricing for crops and access to finance.

Savani added: “Grain markets in Africa generally suffer from a range of constraints. Smallholder farmers are particularly affected owing to their vulnerability to price fluctuations and their weak bargaining position. With warehouse financing solutions like this, they will now be at a vantage point to bargain for better prices for their produce, thereby enhancing their capacity to produce more, create employment and contribute more to economic development”.

“The key advantage of a warehouse receipt is it resolves a whole series of problems, including protecting the traders from losing their produce in their own storage before reaching the market, and is also a great way of freeing up financing for the farmer,” said Constantine Kandie, Kenya Director for EAX.

Mwea- Hospital

ABC Bank, Fortec bring new dawn in Mwea hospital- 11th February, 2015

Residents of Mwea, Kirinyaga County can now sigh with relief as a new diagnostic imaging machine is within their reach, thanks to the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and an ABC Bank customer Fortec Medix Supplies Ltd.

The latter supplied the CT Scan machine to the mission hospital, through an asset financing facility from ABC Bank. The machine was commissioned on Wednesday 11th February.

Speaking at the event, Westlands Branch Manager, Lydia Ngarama said the new machine will plug the gap in access to health care for the community around and beyond Mwea.

TransFast

ABC Bank stakes claim on Diaspora remittances with TransFast deal- 6th March 2015

ABC Bank and New York-based international money transfer service Trans-Fast have signed an agency agreement to enable Diaspora customers to send money to friends and family in Kenya.

The tie-up with Trans-Fast makes ABC Bank the first bank in East Africa to partner with the money transfer service, which has presence in 108 countries in America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The two institutions have received approval from the Central Bank of Kenya to launch the service.

ABC is banking on this new deal to solidify its position in the Diaspora remittances ecosystem at a time when Kenya’s Diaspora remittances have reached an all-time high of Sh. 129.99 billion in 2014, according to a recent report by Central Bank of Kenya.

ABC Bank offers a wide array of money transfer services, serving Kenyans living and working in America, Europe, and Middle East, enabling them to support their families in Kenya as well as invest.

“This collaboration brings added value to both ABC Bank and Trans-Fast, but more importantly, to all our customers. Together we bring fast and reliable money transfer services to more Kenyans,” said ABC Bank Group Business General Manager, Peter Kinyanjui, adding that the introduction of Trans-Fast is part of ABC Bank’s strategy for Diaspora customer acquisition and also appropriately caters for local businesses dealing with international clients.

“Kenya is an important market for inward remittances as well as growing potential for outward remittances. Kenyans working force is spread world across and Trans-Fast is well placed to cater to them across the globe”, said Samir Vidhate, Trans-Fast Director, Asia & Africa.

Trans-Fast, which has over 25 years in international money transfer service, enables customers to send money via its E-Commerce platform, TRANSFAST.com, Mobile App and in person at agent locations. Money can be deposited directly into recipients’ bank accounts, or they can pick up cash in person.

Vidhate added: This is a beginning of very important business relationship of two organizations that aim to serve Kenyan Diaspora across the globe. ABC is a highly reputed, technology oriented bank in Kenya and Trans-Fast is one of the very few remittance companies offering wide range of remittance products complimented by multiple channel of origination, in addition to ‘cash 2 cash’ and ‘cash 2 bank’ account.

Trans-Fast also offers, online originations via its e-commerce platform, and with this agreement, it is also offering its payout network in many countries, which includes Cash and Bank product.

ABC Bank also recently signed a similar agreement with international money transfer service, MoneyGram. Customers can access the service in all ABC Bank branches country wide.

Imarika Sacco partnership launch

ABC Bank partners with Imarika Sacco to provide current accounts to Kilifi residents- 22nd January 2015

ABC Bank has partnered with Kilifi-based Imarika Sacco in an effort to boost the county’s economic growth through offering residents a wider range of financial services.

The partnership will allow Imarika Sacco to overcome a regulatory obstacle to begin offering current account services and issuing cheque books to its members through ABC Bank which will, as a result, provide the Sacco members access to the national payments system. This will increase ease of transactions and improve efficiency of doing business.

Saccos and other micro-finance institutions are not allowed by law to provide current account services and cheque books. They are also yet to be accommodated in the national payment system.

“The launch of the Current Account service at Imarika Sacco is part of the realization of a long time dream for product and service diversification as well as a part fulfillment of our brand promise’’ said Imarika Sacco Chairman, Richard Dzombo.

This partnership is part of the bank’s plan to support Saccos in to offer a wider range of innovative products and services to their customers and make them more competitive. ABC Bank has in the recent past entered in to similar partnerships with Unaitas Sacco, Kirinyaga-based Fortune Sacco and Postbank.

“Imarika Sacco customers will now enjoy a wider range of products offered by ABC Bank, therefore enabling them to grow and expand their businesses. This will help increase ease of doing business and thus enhance competitiveness and wealth creation’’, said ABC Bank General Manager, Group Business Development, Peter Kinyanjui.

Kinyanjui added: ‘‘ABC Bank views Saccos and microfinance institutions not as competition, but as partners, hence the reason for this partnership through which ABC Bank seeks to provide Fortune Sacco with a platform that allows it to optimize its input in the economy. We are grateful to note that Saccos and MFIs have embraced our solution and no longer see us as competition. We are partners working together to ensure that Saccos meet the demands of their customers, a one-stop shop and optimize their input in the economy ’’

The partnership is part of ABC Bank‘s efforts to boost the cooperative sector’s competitive advantage to best achieve their business goals, and to offer a seamless, convenient and comprehensive financial services experience to their customers.