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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.

Optimism 2015

We are facing 2015 with optimism despite the challenges of 2014 – 5th January 2015

Since the last General Election in March 2013, the first under the country’s new constitutional dispensation various sectors of the economy have undergone major reforms, leading to a more robust and business friendly environment.

In response to these changes, businesses have identified new opportunities to take advantage of the new environment to grow their value and market share. One of these businesses is the ABC Bank, which has aggressively and strategically aligned its operations with the financial market in a bid to shore up its margins and market share.

The bank released a Ksh. 650 million private bond in May this year with a green shoe option of Ksh. 350 million to raise the total long-term lending portfolio due to a significant pent-up demand and support its growth strategies including solidifying and securing its leading position in the small and medium enterprises (SME) segment. The bond was oversubscribed by 57 per cent.

“The bond issue has enabled us provide longer term credit to our SME clients and will also boost the bank’s capital structure to enable us proactively manage capital adequacy ratio requirements in 2015’’, noted ABC Bank Group MD Shamaz Savani.

Looking ahead into 2015, Mr Shamaz said they plan to raise more capital through various vehicles to support their expansion strategy.

“We plan to open two new branches in Nairobi to cater for our increasing number of customers. We will also continue to reinforce our Diaspora Banking strategy to reach new frontiers,’’ Mr. Savani hinted.

He said the bank will continue to invest in innovation, brand building, human capital development and pursuing more Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). He added that they are facing the New Year with a desire to serving their customers even better driven by their sound footing as reaffirmed by various organisations.

For instance, in November 2014 Global Credit Rating Company affirmed the national scale long term rating assigned to ABC Bank of BBB (KE) and upgraded the national scale short term rating to A2 (KE) from previous rating A3 (KE). The ratings are valid until October 2015.

The new ratings are supported by the bank’s moderate business and financial risk profile, growth in business, efficiency in balance sheet, commencement of non-performing loans recovery, cost control as well as success in the private bond issue.

According to Mr. Savani, the favourable rating assures investors of the fundamentals of the business, its actual strength, financial standing, and management details, giving them the confidence in considering investing in the bank.

In an effort to foothold in the market, the bank signed key partnerships with other institutions this year to enable it leverage on its experience of 30 years in the financial sector, and the synergy of its partners to increase it touch points for more customers to access its services more conveniently.

The bank launched a partnership with Kirinyaga-based Fortune Sacco in February, and Postbank in June, to enable the two institutions overcome a regulatory hurdle that limits Saccos and micro-finance institutions from offering certain products such as cheque books, trade finance facilities such as performance and bid bonds, which are requirements for participation in government procurement.

The Postbank deal also included an Agent Banking arrangement, in which ABC Bank would utilize Postbank’s branch network countywide to offer its customers normal banking services such as cash deposits and withdrawals, and balance enquiry.

‘‘We view Saccos and microfinance institutions not as competitors, but as partners, hence the reason we entered into these partnerships. We are partners working together to ensure all parties meet the demands of their customers and optimize their input in the economy,’’ said Savani.

The bank has been recognised by various benchmarking institutions for its good performance in different facets of business. It emerged second in the Internet Banking category during the Banking Awards organized by Think Business Ltd in April. The bank attributes this to its investment in continuous innovation.

It also scooped two awards in the Champions of Governance in November- 1st Runners Up in the Finance and Investments category, as well as 1st Runners Up, Overall.

“We believe well-governed companies carry lower financial and non-financial risks and generate higher shareholder returns. They also have better access to external finance and reduce systemic risks due to corporate crises”, said Mr. Savani. A recent independent survey by Infortrack Harris rated ABC Bank as the best in customer satisfaction among its tier three peers.

This year, ABC Bank upgraded its internet banking platform to the globally acknowledged 2nd Level Authentication, which is a superior security feature that shields customers from fraudsters. Other money transfer services the bank has introduced include a US Dollar debit card, an Account-to-Mpesa (B2C) service in conjunction with Safaricom, and more recently, Airtel Money services.

Diaspora banking is an emerging market that has caught the local banking sector by a storm, with financial institutions angling for the lucrative Diaspora remittances. ABC Bank has aggressively established its footprint through agents in the UK, Americas and the UAE to cater for the growing number of Kenyans living and working abroad.

As a socially responsible organization, ABC Bank invests in corporate social responsibility. Its flagship CSR initiative, the ABC Bank Baringo Half Marathon is an annual sporting event held in November in Kabarnet, Baringo County. The bank this year doubled the sponsorship to Ksh. 10 m and increased the prize kitty.

Airtel Money

Airtle Money goes live in ABC Bank-17th November, 2014

We are glad to inform you that ABC Bank customers can now access Airtel Money services at any ABC Bank branch countrywide. The services being offered under this partnership include;

Retail services – customers will be able to send/receive money at any ABC Bank branch countrywide

Super Agency services – customers will be able to buy or sell float at any ABC Bank branch.

We believe that this new service goes a long way in positioning the Bank as a one stop financial institution.

COG Awards, 2014

ABC Bank shines at governance awards- 15th November, 2017

ABC Bank scooped two prestigious awards at the recent Champions of Governance Awards 2014, organized by the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya.

The bank bagged the second overall champion award, and emerged 1st Runners Up in the Finance and Investments category.

The awards, now in their fifth year, seek to recognize institutions and individuals that exhibit the highest standards of practice of good governance and encourage more organizations, both public and private, to embrace the principles of accountability, transparency and disclosure compliance, consistent shareholder value enhancement, and corporate social responsibility.

These awards mean a lot to us; the recognition is a result of our deliberate and consistent observance of an open and transparent culture that permeates all our daily activities and interactions at all levels. They are a reflection of who we are, as a body corporate.

ABC Bank Koinange Street Branch

ABC Bank gets the thumbs up from Global Credit Rating Agency- 11th November, 2014

The Global Credit Rating Company has affirmed an upgraded national scale short term rating to A2 (KE) from previous rating A3 (KE) and a national scale long term rating of BBB (KE) and from the Global Credit Rating Company.

The ratings, valid until October 2015, are supported by the bank’s moderate business and financial risk profile, growth in business, efficiency in balance sheet, commencement of non-performing loans recovery, cost control as well as success in the private bond issue in May this year.

The bank released a Ksh. 650 million private bond with a green shoe option of Ksh. 350 million. With 5.25 years tenure and a yield of 12.6 percent, the bond was oversubscribed by 57 percent.

The upgrade of the bank’s short term rating is a reflection of the positive operational changes in the business, including the enhanced funding profile of the bank and the potential internal growth. Appropriate deployment of capital/funding, improving profitability while maintaining credit protection factors, the diversification of income streams and a reduction in funding costs on the back of the retail strategy may have a positive impact on the bank’s long-term rating going forward.

‘’We are excited about the new rating. It positions the bank as a safe and stable investment vehicle for investors, as it is a stamp of financial soundness, with a minimal risk of insolvency’’ noted ABC Bank Group Managing Director Shamaz Savani.

Leveraging its strengths in asset finance, trade finance and international and local remittance solutions, the bank has carved out a niche by providing focused services and solutions to mid-to-large sized corporate firms. More recently, however, the bank has expanded its client profile to include all market segments.

‘’ This good rating assures investors of the fundamentals of our business, its actual strength, financial standing, and management details, giving them the confidence in taking investment decisions’’ added Savani.

Following a successful realignment of its business model in line with its five year (2013- 2017) strategy, the bank created five strategic business segments, namely: Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, SME Banking, Treasury, and Alternative Channels.

BHM2014

Athletes battle it out at the Baringo Half Marathon- 1st November, 2014

This year’s edition of the annual ABC Bank Baringo Half Marathon took place on November 1st in Kabarnet town, Baringo County.

This is the second year the bank has organized the marathon as title sponsor. The marathon is our flagship Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, and seeks to identify and nurture young athletic talent with a view to produce the next generation of world champions.

Since we took up the title sponsorship, we have endeavoured to raise the event’s profile in various ways, including increased participation and the enduring impact among the immediate communities. This year we double the sponsorship kitty to Ksh. 10 million, to go to hosting the event and our Athletes Development Program.

We also boosted the prize purse; the first finishers, in both the men’s and women’s 21 kilometer categories, took home Ksh. 300,000 each, while winners in the six kilometer category for boys and girls pocketed Ks. 25,000.

This year we introduced a schools category that saw over 50 schools register teams of ten students for the 6 km cross country race. The winning team took to their school Ksh. 100,000.

The Athletes Development Program is a sustainability project that will enable us to deliver on the objective of producing world champions. Last year we selected a group of 12 promising young athletes, whom we placed in various athletics training camps in the North Rift region, under dedicated professional coaches to set them on the path to stardom.

Some have gone on to participate in different local and international races, and have recorded impressive performances. For instance, Hilary Kemboi competed in a race in Nigeria and scooped the gold medal in the 10,000 meters race. In August, Alfred Barkach participated in the East African Secondary Schools Championships and won the 10,000 meters race. Josphat Kiprop, another of our sponsored athletes, won the 21 kilometer race in this year’s Baringo Half Marathon. These success stories confirm the need for talent development. We are picking more athletes from this year’s marathon to join the Athletes Development Program.

Besides athletics training, we also offer life skills training to our athletes to make them all round successful people even off the track. We have trained them in investments and personal finance, success management, public speaking and handling media interviews, and managing sponsorship contracts.

ABC Bank used the opportunity to engage the Baringo County Government and other business people on possible areas of collaboration.

BHM 2014 Launch

ABC Bank launches 2014 edition of Baringo Half Marathon- 25th September, 2014

The ABC Bank Baringo Half Marathon 2014 edition will take place on 1st November. The race, themed ‘Developing Athletic Talent’ is an exciting strategy that seeks to nurture and promote young sporting talent.

Speaking at the launch event, Baringo County Governor, H.E. Benjamin Cheboi emphasized the importance of nurturing upcoming athletes through locally sponsored initiatives such as the ABC Bank Baringo Half Marathon.

“My government is equally committed to supporting not only athletics but other sports as well, as a way of encouraging our youth to pursue sports as a viable career option.” Governor Cheboi said.

This initiative provides an opportunity for every athlete to perform at their best through continued practice and race opportunities through which they can gauge their performance levels. The organizers have this year involved and worked closely with the Baringo County Government and other local leaders to enhance community participation and ownership of the event.

“Besides being a lucrative source of income, sports keeps the youth constructively engaged, thus keeping them away from destructive or unlawful activities. It is also a useful vehicle for bringing people together hence contributing to society building and promoting peaceful co-existence among different communities,” he reiterated.

Moreover, Governor Cheboi noted that increased awareness and uptake of athletics and distance running will continue to increase entries and sponsorships, and promote socio-economic growth in the county of Baringo and beyond.

The Paul Tergat Foundation Chairman and Patron of the Baringo Half Marathon, Mr. Paul Tergat called on both elite and budding athletes to register for the marathon to battle it out for the attractive prizes on offer. The upcoming athletes will have the opportunity to have their talent identified, and possibly picked for the athletes’ development program.

A key highlight of this year’s event is the introduction of a schools-only category in which participants will compete in the 6 kilometer cross-country race.

“A school is free to register as many teams as possible.  This will give our young people in schools from across the country an opportunity to showcase their athletic talent as the cross country season kicks off,” he noted.

He thanked the county government, local leaders and area residents for supporting the marathon, and appealed for more support for such initiatives such as the marathon, which also attracts and promotes sports tourism.

“This is why sports by far remain as the most effective platform for social and economic transformation. We must embrace and invest in it,” he added.

ABC Bank Group Managing Director, Mr. Shamaz Savani said the half marathon also seeks to boost the image of the sport to upcoming talent and the general public.

“As the title sponsor, we have increased the sponsorship kitty to Ksh. 10 million from Ksh. 5 million last year. This kitty will be used to host the marathon as well as run the athletes’ development program following the marathon. Additionally, we have increased the total prize purse to Ksh. 3 million with the first prize being 300,000 shillings each for men and women in the 21 km category. We have introduced a Schools Category, which will be the key highlight of the marathon, with prizes for both schools and winning students,” he said.

During last year’s ABC Bank Baringo Half Marathon, the organizers identified a batch of 12 upcoming athletes to join the athletes’ development program sponsored by the bank. They have undergone intensive professional training in reputable training camps to prepare for not only the Baringo Half marathon but also for other local and international races. They have also received life skills training in key areas such as personal finance and investments, handling media and public speaking, anti-doping policies and managing sponsorship contracts.

Alfred Barkach, one of the ABC Bank-sponsored athletes, won the 10,000 metres race at the recently concluded East African Secondary Schools Games held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His success is testament to the fact that nurturing talent will produce more champions for this country.

Some of the mentors who have offered a helping hand to the budding athletes through the athletes’ development program include: world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, former Olympic 800 meters champion Wilfred Bungei and US-based Kenyan distance runner Betsy Saina.

International athletes from Ethiopia and other East African countries have also been invited to headline the event and to increase the participation bracket beyond the country’s national borders as a model of building and nurturing talent.

‘’We have once again invited athletes from Ethiopia and other East African Countries to headline the event. Besides increasing the stature of the event, their presence here will also enhance its competitiveness. In return, we will be reciprocating with athletes from our half marathon participating in the Great Ethiopian Run later in November’’, noted Mr. Shamaz.

Kisumu golf day

ABC Bank hosts inaugural Kisumu golf day- 20th September, 2014

Golfers in Kisumu flocked to the Nyanza Club with their caddies in tow, for the ABC Bank-sponsored golf tournament. Dubbed ‘Swing into Action’ the tournament was part of the bank’s ongoing customer engagement plans.

It was the first time the tournament was hosted in Kisumu. Earlier in April, we had hosted a similar tourney in Eldoret. Our main objective is to use these tournaments to interact with, and listen to our customers as well as meet new ones. We will continue to host such events across the country.

KU

ABC Bank partners with Kenyatta University to support young innovators- 16th September 2014

ABC Bank joined hands with Kenyatta University by donating Ksh. 250,000 to support inventive students to realize their entrepreneurial potential. The university, through its Chandaria Business Innovation Incubation Centre, nurtures students with innovative ideas to transform them to viable enterprises.

Speaking when he presented the cheque to Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor, Professor Olive Mugenda, ABC Bank’s General Manager, Group Business Development, Peter Kinyanjui underscored the importance of partnerships between corporates and institutions of higher learning, saying this would spur the improvement of educational standards in the country.

On her part, Professor Mugenda hailed ABC Bank for being the first bank to support the incubation program.

The donation is part of ABC Bank’s CSR strategy to help the youth to discover and develop their talent. The Innovation Incubation Centre recently organized an investors’ confidence to give students under the program an opportunity to show case their ideas and to link them with potential investors.

Postbank partnership

ABC Bank and Postbank to provide cheque clearing solution – 24th June 2014.

Over two million Postbank customers can now access cheque books and process cheque payments through ABC Bank following the signing of a deal between the two banks.

The new solution will be available through the Postbank Cheque Account, which will enable Postbank customers obtain cheque books and process their cheques through ABC Bank’s clearing house. This will not only provide these customers with an important payment instrument that will help streamline their business transactions but will also help Postbank introduce the culture of savings to other market segments.

“The launch of this solution means much more to us than just a new product; it means a new solution, more opportunities and more possibilities for us and for Postbank. Postbank customers will now have the added benefit of getting cheques books, an important tool in business transactions”, said Postbank MD Dr Nyambura Koigi.

Postbank has not been issuing cheque books because it was established as a savings bank. However, through the partnership with ABC Bank it can now offer cheque clearing solution as an additional service to its customers.

ABC Bank has also launched an agency banking channel with Postbank as its agent in a bid to deepen its reach and enhance ease of access to services to its customers countrywide. The partnership will allow ABC Bank customers across the country to withdraw and deposit cash to their ABC Bank accounts through Postbank 99 outlets countrywide.

“This partnership is crucial for ABC Bank as it is key in the strategic direction we have been pursuing for the last couple of years. It reinforces our determination to increase and improve our channels to provide more touch points for our customers to access our services”, said Mr. Savani, adding that the partnership is part of the bank’s growth and expansion plans.

ABC Bank will utilize 99 of Postbank’s outlets across the country to offer its customers normal banking services such as cash deposits and withdrawals, and balance enquiry. In addition, the deal will enable ABC Bank reach new customers and increase product penetration and uptake.

About ABC Bank ABC Bank is a locally incorporated bank which has carved a special niche in providing focused services and solutions for mid to large size corporate firms, facilitating its business customers through innovative business solutions and emphasizing its main strengths in asset finance, trade finance and international/local remittance solutions. In addition to these markets, the bank has introduced a variety of personal banking solutions that have created an all rounded platform for individuals to transact with the bank.