The most hotly contested award in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2016 in Africa was that for the region’s best bank. Equity Bank won the award on the strength of its digital platform and of its impressive, fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) loan business.
“Equity Bank has long been committed to supporting SMEs in Kenya,” Euromoney says, “but last year it still managed to massively expand its offering, both geographically and numerically.”
Equity Bank was far from being the only local bank to have done well in this year’s awards: Standard Bank was awarded the continent’s best bank for markets and wealth management; Nigeria’s Chapel Hill Denham was Africa’s best bank for advisory; Ecobank won best bank for transaction services and for corporate social responsibility; Access Bank was named the region’s best bank transformation; and Guaranty Trust Bank was named best digital bank in one of a number of inaugural regional awards.
Citi was the sole bank from outside the continent to have won a regional award for Africa: best bank for financing.
“The bank, which has long had a strong presence in Africa, is one of the few able to offer a comprehensive range of products throughout most of the continent,” the magazine explains. “Last year it certainly showed that it could deliver on that offering.”
“In a year of real hardship for South Africa, during which the country’s finance minister declared the economy ‘in crisis’, RMB claims the best investment bank in Africa award,” says Euromoney.
“RMB is an investment bank with an extensive deal footprint across 35 African countries. In the final six months of 2015, pre-tax profits increased 13% to $264 million, and the business delivered an impressive return on equity of 22.2%.”
In domestic markets, national champions continued to dominate. Angola’s best bank was BAI; Kenya’s was, unsurprisingly, Equity Bank; Mauritius Commercial Bank still dominates its home market; Banco Unico dominates in Mozambique, as does Bank of Kigali in Rwanda; FirstRand in South Africa and GTBank in Nigeria.
About the Awards for Excellence
The Euromoney Awards for Excellence, launched in 1992 and now in its 25th year, were the first of their kind in the global financial publishing industry. The nature of the banking industry is changing, and this year we have made fundamental changes to the categories in our Awards for Excellence to reflect this.
The main purposes of these changes are: to move away from awards based on individual product categories where other determinants of status and ability are readily available; to focus on banks/investment banks that can demonstrate an ability to deliver the different parts of their firms to meet clients’ needs and adapt to market and regulatory conditions, and to consider candidates for these awards that might not be global in scale, but are truly world class in the way they are run and in the services they deliver to clients.
Euromoney’s award decisions are made by a committee of senior journalists, chaired by Euromoney’s editor, following the receipt of detailed submissions from market participants and extensive year-round research into the banking and capital markets in the region by our editors, journalists and research team. Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence cover global categories, best-in-class awards in all regions and the best banks in close to 100 countries around the world.