SMEs and Green Projects to Benefit from IFC’s Sh10bn Loan to Equity Bank
The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation plans to lend Equity Bank Kenya a $100 million (Sh10 billion) as a subordinated loan in a bid to grow its lending operations in Kenya.
IFC move will see Equity Bank increase its lending base and hence 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.
Also, they will offer the global bank knowledge in sectors relating to SME and climate finance, work on enhancing their environment and social risks management systems, build capacity for staff in critical 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 has played a crucial role in reducing unemployment in the country as it has trained nearly two million low-income women, youth, and micro-entrepreneurs in financial literacy. The bank has also managed to train 25,303 micro and small-scale entrepreneurs in advanced small business development.
“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,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
The banks’ loans have played a significant role in boosting the Bank’s SME portfolio. The IFC’s global climate-related portfolio is set to increase from 21 to 28 percent by 2020 with much attribution to the new loan supported by World Bank Group’s Climate Action Plan.
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