Banking the Unbanked

Equity Bank is Kenya’s second-largest bank and has more than 14 million customers. The bank is the leading inclusive bank in Africa. Its main customer segments are unbanked individuals, micro enterprises and SMEs – those typically described as as being at the “bottom of the pyramid”.

14.2
MILLION

customers

9.3
BILLION USD

in assets

About Equity Bank

Equity Bank is the leading inclusive banking group in East Africa with over 10 million customer accounts and more than $9 billion in assets. Listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and the Uganda Securities Exchange.

Equity Bank is also leading in financial innovation and was the first Kenyan bank to introduce EMV compliant ATM cards. It has played a leading role in championing agency banking in Kenya and continues to demystify banking by taking financial services to the door steps of citizens in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2015, it launched a new mobile payment and banking platform for its customers, providing easier access to also small loans.

The unveiling of this new mobile platform is part of our 30-year journey of promoting financial inclusion. The company aims to increase the number of Kenyans with access to banking services to 90 percent and above

Dr. James Mwangi, ceo of Equity bank group

Our Impact

Equity Bank aims to transform the lives and livelihoods of people in East Africa socially and economically by providing modern and inclusive financial services. The bank is one of the few banks globally that has succeeded in developing a scalable, technology-driven business model for efficient, high quality service delivery to the mass market in a developing country.

Equity Bank has a strong focus on women and youth, and provides adapted products and training programmes for both groups, including financial literacy training and entrepreneurship programs. Women are on the bank’s Board of Directors and in its top management team.

Expanding globally

Delivering quality financial services to a large market is capital intensive, and scale is therefore important to banks wishing to improve their efficiency, ensure the quality of their products, and deliver affordable financial solutions. Equity Bank is one of the few players globally that has grown to a level where they can carry the costs of developing high quality innovative banking services to the mass market in a developing country.

Active ownership

Norfund first invested in Equity Bank in 2008. The investment was later transferred to Arise – Norfund’s main vehicle for investments in financial institutions in Africa, established in 2016. Norfund is the biggest shareholder of Arise and has a seat in the board. In 2019, Norfund committed a direct loan to Equity Bank funding further growth.