Equity Bank #tricker:EQTY has been voted the best lender after it shrug off effects of the legal cap on lending rates to beat rivals in the profit growth race.
Think Business banking awards ranked Equity top ahead of Barclays Bank #ticker:BBK.
“Equity and Citi Bank scored highly on financials,” said Ochieng Oloo, founder of Think Business Limited. “But Equity got better marks on customer satisfaction and deployment of technology.”
Fewer loan defaulters, lower employee costs and increased earnings from processing loans helped Equity Bank shrug off effects of the cap on lending rates that hurt its rivals.
The Kenyan unit of Equity posted a 7.2 per cent growth in net profit to Sh16.3 billion in the year to December compared to Co-operative Bank #ticker:COOP whose earnings dropped 10.7 per cent to Sh11.6 billion while KCB Group’s #ticker:KCB profit was 2.5 per cent down to Sh19.2 billion.
Most Kenyan banks have reported reduced profitability on effects of the lending rates cap that cut interest income as loans plummeted.
Financial performance accounted for 50 per cent of the ranking weight, customer satisfaction (20 per cent) and technology (30 per cent).
Equity Bank was also voted the best lender in SME banking, agency banking, least cost for individuals and digital banking.
Diamond Trust Bank scooped top honours for product innovation while Citi Bank and Stanbic Bank were ranked top in corporate banking and lending to agro sector respectively.
Equity CEO James Mwangi was crowned the industry’s chief executive-of-the-year. Kenya Women Micro Finance was voted the best micro-financier.