Equity Bank posts Sh5.9bn Q1 profit

Equity Bank has ramped up growth over the first three months of the year to record a Sh5.9 billion.

This is 22 percent growth compared to the Sh4.9 billion profit recorded during a similar period in 2017.

The Group’s new business model focusing on the growth of non-funded revenue and operations outside the country, has been credited for supporting the bank’s growth in light of changing dynamics in the country’s financial sector under interest rate capping by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Equity Group Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi said on Thursday that the bank’s sustained growth signifies the bank’s ability to remain agile in an ever changing environment.

“The result goes to show how quickly the bank has adjusted and how powerful and agile the bank is in execution once it formulates a strategy,” Mr Mwangi told investors.

Equity Bank has increased focus on moving transactions to its mobile banking platform Equitel as well as focusing on growing non funded income.

The bank’s non-funded income grew to Sh6.7 billion down from Sh6.3 billion.

While adjusting to the interest cap regime, Equity Bank was able to grow its loan book to 271 billion shillings with interest income rising 10 percent to Sh22.7 billion.

Focus on growing its alternative banking channels saw the bank grow its customer numbers to 12.2 million with 382 billion shillings in deposits.

Equity Banks is now handling 97 percent of its transactions outside physical branches.

Mr Mwangi said he expects the strategy to maintain the bank’s profitability heading into the second half of 2018.

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