Unaitas says ready for com­mer­cial bank li­cence

Business Daily (Kenya) - - MONEY & MARKETS - Mwangi Muiruri bd­news­desk@ke.na­tion­media.com The sacco has the ca­pac­ity of re­ceiv­ing Sh40 bil­lion in de­posits

Unaitas says it is ready to roll out fully fledged com­mer­cial bank­ing ser­vices any­time the Cen­tral Bank lifts the mora­to­rium on li­cens­ing im­posed in 2015.

The in­def­i­nite freeze came af­ter mas­sive ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties were blamed on lack of proper su­per­vi­sory struc­tures af­ter mas­sive fraud at the Im­pe­rial, Chase and

Dubai banks.

The mora­to­rium, how­ever, did not af­fect merg­ers and ac- qui­si­tions and has also seen some pre­vi­ous ap­pli­cants granted li­cence.

Unaitas Sacco chair­man Joseph Kabugu said the in­sti­tu­tion has gone live with a Sh700 mil­lion in­fra­struc­ture up­grade in readi­ness for com­mer­cial bank­ing.

“We are good to go, even if the li­cence was to be granted to­day. We will sim­ply switch on and start of­fer­ing ser­vices to our clients.

“We have come of age and we look for­ward to be­ing the new kid on the block and solidly com­pete for the ul­ti­mate edge in bank­ing ser­vices,” he said.

He added Unaitas is now hold­ing client de­posits in ex­cess of Sh30 bil­lion, hav­ing de­clared a Sh300 mil­lion pre-tax profit in the third quar­ter of 2018.

He said the jour­ney that started in 1993 with the open­ing of Mu­rang’a Tea Grow­ers be­fore meta­mor­phos­ing to Mu­ra­mati in 2007 and later Unaitas in 2012 had re­sulted in a fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­sti­tu­tion ca­pa­ble of en­ter­ing the com­pet­i­tive bank­ing mar­ket.

The sacco has the ca­pac­ity of re­ceiv­ing Sh40 bil­lion in de­posits.

“With slightly over 400,000 cus­tomers, 16 per cent of them be­ing in the dsi­as­pora, we feel that the time to grad­u­ate our ser­vices was yes­ter­day,” he said.

He said there is in­creased de­mand for fi­nan­cial ser­vices ow­ing to the dy­nam­ics of an ex­pand­ing na­tional econ­omy, which is re­ly­ing more on sav­ings and credit to liq­ui­date in­di­vid­ual, group and in­sti­tu­tional ven­tures.

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