Equity has been named among the global banking behemoths once again. In The Banker magazine’s Top 1,000 World Banks 2021, the Kenyan institution was ranked 39th in terms of return on assets, 71st in terms of return on capital, and 149th in terms of soundness (Capital Assets to Assets ratio).
This rating is based on an examination of banks in eight areas: growth, profitability, operational efficiency, asset quality, return on risk, liquidity, soundness, and leverage, to name a few. With a Tier 1 capital base of USD 1,096 million, Equity was placed 22nd in Africa and 761st globally.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down major sectors of the local economy, contributed to Equity’s outstanding achievement in the rankings. The bank makes major efforts in protecting communities and stakeholders, putting people and lives before of profits. It provided PPEs to health personnel at 56 county and national hospitals, as well as 60 faith-based facilities, in collaboration with the Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Board. In addition, the lender helped 17,800 Wings to Fly and Elimu Scholars deal with the extended school closure.
Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi commented on the ranking, saying that it shows the company’s resilience in the face of a difficult operating climate.
“These global rankings are truly an affirmation befitting the financial strength and professionalism of the Bank, as well as the measures we took in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We strengthened our capital buffers by retaining profits and withholding dividend payouts, took long-term loan facilities that strengthened our liquidity buffers, supported host communities and our clients to mitigate the impact of the crisis on them by waiving fees and rescheduling their loans to match loan repayments to new cashflow patterns,” Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO said.
Equity Group, which has operations in six countries, was able to weather the COVID-19 interruption and increase its half-year Profits After Tax to Kshs.17.9 billion in 2021, up from Kshs.9.1 billion the previous year. The Group, which is the region’s largest bank by assets, also recorded an increase in total assets to Kshs. 1.12 trillion, up from Kshs. 746.5 billion the year before. Customer deposits increased by 51% to Kshs. 820.3 billion in the same time, maintaining the lender’s position as the largest bank in terms of deposits, market capitalization, and customer base, with over 15 million customers.
For more than 50 years, the Banker’s worldwide and regional rankings have been industry-standard indicators of financial institution performance. Tier 1 capital, a crucial metric of banking strength, is used to rank the largest banks in The Banker’s Top 1,000 World Banks. Furthermore, they examine over 120 data points tracked by The Banker Database year after year. The rating is a great tool for comparing banks and gaining a better picture of the global banking industry’s health and wealth.