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Africa's best bank for SMEs 2019: Kenya Commercial Bank

Awards for Excellence 2019

According to the World Bank, small and medium-sized enterprises account for approximately 95% of all registered firms in Africa – financing them is essential to regional growth.

In Kenya, SMEs have been hit hard by the interest-rate cap set at four percentage points above the central bank rate. Rather than take the risk and lend at lower than palatable interest rates, banks cut lending to smaller businesses, preferring to stick to larger corporates with stronger track records.

The cap was lifted recently, but the damage has been done: in Kenya, the cap is estimated to have cut GDP growth by 0.4%.

The fact that Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), led by chief executive Joshua Oigara, continued to lend to SMEs in this environment and support a number of initiatives to deepen lending to the sector makes it Africa’s best bank for SMEs this year.

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