Equity Bank is the second largest bank in Kenya and has a total of 9.5 million customers in Kenya, South-Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The bank has about 8 000 employees and is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
The main customer segments of Equity Bank are “bottom of the pyramid”: Previously unbanked individuals and small and medium sized enterprises. The bank serves a total of 9.5 million customers, and is one of the few banks globally that has succeeded in developing a scalable business model for efficient, high quality service delivery to a mass market in a developing country. Equity Bank is about to launch a new mobile banking platform, and scale up activities in the region outside Kenya.
Equity Bank also has a strong focus on women, both with adapted products and training programs for female customers, and with female representatives both on the Board of Directors and the top management team.
Delivering high quality financial services to a large market is highly capital intensive, and to improve product quality, costs and efficiency of the banks it is important to utilize scale. Equity Bank is one of the few players globally that has grown to a level where they can carry the costs of e.g. developing high quality mobile banking services to the mass market in a developing country.
Norfund and the partners in NorFinance own 12.223% of Equity Bank. Equity Bank is registered in Kenya, paying local income tax amounting to 450 million NOK in 2013.