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Co-op Bank beats rivals to become overall Catalyst financial awards winner

NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo (left) presents KCB Group official Judith Sidi-Odhiambo with a certificate on February 6, 2018. PHOTO | diana ngila
NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo (left) presents KCB Group official Judith Sidi-Odhiambo with a certificate on February 6, 2018. PHOTO | diana ngila 

Co-operative Bank of Kenya #ticker:COOP has been named the overall winner of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) 2017 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards for banks and other financial sector players.

The judging panel settled on Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group #ticker:KCB for the second overall place and Equity Bank #ticker:EQTY for third position.

“As a bank that is predominantly owned by the 14 million-member co-operative movement, we are inclusive by design which has not only enabled us to deliver shared prosperity today, but also helped us build an awareness and prudence to avoid putting future generations in jeopardy,” Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki said.

The awards honoured institutions that have embedded the industry’s sustainable finance guiding principles in their core operations and lending practices.

“The winners of the Catalyst Awards demonstrate that we are prepared to take steps to ensure that our investment activities are carried out in line with international best-practices... with due regard to the Kenyan context,” said KBA chief executive Habil Olaka.

Telecommunication firm Safaricom #ticker:SCOM was named the best overall in the sustainability through policy and governance award, and Diamond Trust Bank #ticker:DTK was feted in the financing of SME’s case study category.

Standard Chartered Bank #ticker:SCBK came third in commercial lending while Equity Bank was also honoured as “most improved” between 2016 and 2017.
Kenya Women Microfinance Bank was declared winner in the best practice in the sustainable finance category.

Other finalists included NIC Bank #ticker:NIC, Prime Bank, National Bank of Kenya #ticker:NBK, Commercial Bank of Africa, Stanbic Bank #ticker:CFC, Barclays Bank #ticker:BBK, and Lendable which is a financial technology start-up based in Nairobi and New York.

During the four-month exercise, 33 entries were submitted by 14 financial institutions.