Last week in Nairobi, activities were abuzz at the intercontinental hotel. At the top of the list of conferences that were held during the week, Kenya Bankers Association conference made it to the headlines as they undertook a two day conference discussing “Credit market dynamics in an evolving regulatory and market participants environment.”
The two day conference happened just days before the 8% VAT increase that had Kenyans have a second thing to add to their worry list as our current debt to China situation remains on the top of their list.
The 7th Edition of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Annual Banking Research Conference kicked off on the 27th September with presentations that sought to provide solutions to a wide range of challenges facing the credit market. In their papers, researchers shined a spotlight on credit access issues, making recommendations on how lenders’ capital requirements can be designed to improve levels of access to formal credit.
The presentations also highlighted opportunities for minimizing borrowing risks by leveraging on linkages between sectors such as agriculture, industry and services. Other papers sought to establish whether policy dynamics affect consumer credit preferences. The role of sustainability on regulation and risk management among commercial banks in Kenya also featured, with one study indicating that banks are at different levels of adopting sustainable banking practices.
Speaking during the event, Central Bank Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge commended KBA for organising the forum for the past seven years, saying research was key in providing solutions to challenges in the industry. “Discussions on consumer protection have not been addressed in the past. However, I am informed that the issue will be discussed in this forum,’’ said Dr. Njoroge.
KBA Chairman Mr. Joshua Oigara said the focus of the Conference could not have come at a better time, given that industry discussions in recent years have centered around facilitating access to credit to small enterprises and the private sector. Mr. Oigara called on players in the industry to explore ways of increasing credit access to industries that have low access levels, noting that the banking industry remains upbeat in regard to opportunities that the economy offers.
On his part, KBA CEO Dr. Habil Olaka said thanked the various academic institutions, both local and international, that continue to work closely with KBA in the initiative, saying the collaborations continue to give the forum fresh perspectives that are informed by tangible industry dynamics.
Today’s forum marked 7 years since the inaugural conference that was held in 2012. So far, close to 30 papers have been published under the KBA Working Paper Series, making a significant contribution to discussions on both policy and enterprise development.
About the Kenya Bankers Association:
KBA (www.kba.co.ke) was founded on 16th July 1962. Today, KBA is the financial sector’s leading advocacy group and banking industry umbrella body that represents total assets in excess of USD 40 billion. KBA has evolved and broadened its function to include advocacy on behalf of the banking industry, and championing financial sector development through strategic projects such as the launch of the industry’s first P2P digital payments platform PesaLink. In line with the Government’s policy on public-private partnerships, KBA and Central Bank of Kenya have implemented key projects such as modernization of the National Payments System through the Automated Clearing House, implementing the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), and the Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative. The KBA members are comprised of commercial banks and deposit taking microfinance banks. For more information, visit www.kba.co.ke.