Equity has become the first bank in Eastern and Central Africa to achieve a USD 9.3 billion balance sheet, after migrating Banque Commercial Du Congo (BCDC) to Equity’s core banking platform.
Equity Group, which has a representative office in Ethiopia, became the first bank in Eastern and Central Africa to have this big a balance sheet, the Bank said in its statement.
Achieving the milestone is said to lift the visibility of Equity in the financial sector in Eastern Africa significantly, compete favorably with financial institutions in South Africa, West Africa, and North Africa, for project and development finance.
“The benefits to our customers will be immense. The bank is also the most capitalized in East and Central Africa with over USD 1.3 billion, giving it a single lending obligor of USD 322 billion. Equity banking subsidiaries will now be in a position to leverage the Group’s strength to extend large corporate loans across all the countries where Equity operates,” said Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, James Mwangi (Ph.D.).
The unification is expected to make the two entities become part of a large international financial service group, able to access modern technologically driven banking, including a versatile mobile banking experience, international card payment options and merchants, access to a wide range of payment outlets and a broad digital banking footprint, added Mwangi.
According to the CEO, Equity has accelerated its technological capabilities to deliver self-service banking across its markets through mobile banking, agent banking as well as online banking system.
Suraphel Wube, Deputy Commercial Representative of Equity in Ethiopia told The Reporter that the increasing balance sheet enables the bank to increase loan capability and customer attraction. In addition to this, Equity needs to promote a pan-African model and expand in the Southern parts of Africa, where the banking sector has flourished.
According to him, Equity is not only an East African bank but rather an Eastern-Central African bank along with its accessibility to both Anglophone and Francophone nations.
Suraphel elaborated that the achievement of the Bank will create an additional ability for the Bank to expand its existence in Ethiopia where a representative office is currently placed.
“Currently, Equity is working with 13 banks in Ethiopia and what is expected this time is the efficiency of the representative office in expanding projects. Equity’s commercial representative office of Ethiopia will work on trade finance and start remittance boldly in 2021,” he said.
Suraphel told The Reporter that there is a correspondent banking challenge in Ethiopia, especially in those banks categorized under the middle range. To improve the challenge that the Ethiopian finance sector is facing, he stated, Equity works towards forex gains.
Equity Group Holdings (EGHL) is a Pan-African financial services holding company listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Rwanda Stock Exchange. The Group has banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and DRC and a representative office in Ethiopia.
It has other subsidiaries in investment banking, insurance, telecom, fintech, and social impact investments. With over 14.2 million customers, the Group is one of the biggest banks in customer base in the region.