Kigali, Rwanda 5th January 2021... Equity Bank Rwanda has received the Bank of the Year Rwanda 2020 award by The Banker, during the Bank of the Year Awards 2020. The Bank emerged top in class for clearly exhibiting a strong fiscal performance in the financial year of 2019. In the year under review, Equity Bank Rwanda increased its Tier 1 capital by 27% from RWF 28.6 Billion in 2018 to RWF 36.2 Billion in 2019, assets by 18% from RWF 233.1 Billion in 2018 to RWF 276.1 Billion in 2019 and net profits by 54% from RWF 6 .0 Billion million in 2018 up to RWF 9.2 Billion in 2019.
Commenting on the award, Equity Bank Rwanda Managing Director, Hannington Namara said, “We are delighted to be recipients of Bank of the Year Rwanda 2020 award by The Banker. The award affirms our commitment to provide inclusive financial services that transform livelihoods, give dignity and expand opportunities. We have rolled out financial solutions that have enabled our customers to self-service and access banking services 24 hours, 7days in a week, making banking something you do rather than a place you go to.”
The awarding entity, The Banker, also considered the difficult operating environment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the role banks played in delivering much-needed government funding, as well as providing specific measures themselves.
The Equity Bank contributed 22,225 testing kits worth USD 1.06M to the government of Rwanda in support of national efforts to combat the spread of the virus. The Bank also contributed to efforts of dealing with the negative effects of COVID-19 and helped to create a support programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that were heavily affected by the pandemic. The Bank partnered with Enterprise Partner Solutions and the Mastercard Foundation to set up a COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience programme to support SMEs and their value chains in the tourism and hospitality sector, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. The commitment from Mastercard Foundation worth USD 2.5million will be used to provide financial support and technical assistance, with Equity Bank Rwanda as a financing partner. Incubation support will be given to 60 start-ups and another 50 established SMEs will benefit from an accelerator programme.
According to The Banker, the investment which banks have been making in their digital transformation efforts have truly paid off and will continue to reap rewards in the years to come, in terms of lowering service costs, improving customer experience and driving the financial inclusion agenda.
As part of an upgrade to the EazzyBanking App, Equity Bank introduced EazzyPay, an interoperable retail last mile payment platform which eliminates the risks associated with carrying cash. The bank also introduced an instant-opening account mobile-based platform dubbed “Akokanya” which helps customers self-board via an app or USSD. Customers can use Eazzybanking platform to do all their transactions including applying for instant loans.
About Equity Bank Rwanda
Equity Bank Rwanda began its operations in 2011 and is registered as a commercial bank by the National Bank of Rwanda. The Bank has its Head Office located in Kigali, with a foot-print of 14 branches and is supported by 1503 agents, 1074 merchants and a network of 21 ATMs.
Equity Bank Rwanda is a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc, a financial services company listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Rwanda Stock Exchange. In addition to Equity Bank Rwanda, the Group has banking subsidiaries in, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, and a Commercial Representative Office in Ethiopia; with additional non-banking subsidiaries engaged in the provision of investment banking, custodial, insurance agency, philanthropy, consulting, and infrastructure services.
Equity Group has an asset base of over USD 10 billion. With over 14.2 million customers, the Group is one of the biggest banks by customer base in the region. The Group has a footprint of 335 branches, 52,742 Agents and 35,386 Merchants and 720 ATMs. The Group is the largest bank in market capitalization in East and Central Africa. The Banker Top 1000 World Banks 2020 ranked Equity Bank 754 overall in its global ranking, 62nd in soundness (Capital Assets to Assets ratio), 55th in terms of Profits on Capital and 20th on Return on Assets. In the same year, Moody’s gave the Bank a global rating of B2 with a negative outlook same as the sovereign rating of the Kenyan government due to the Bank’s strong brand recognition, solid liquidity buffers and resilient funding profile, established domestic franchise and extensive adoption of digital and alternative distribution channels.
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