Equity Bank’s share of diaspora remittances hit Sh100 billion in the nine months to September 2019.
The inflows from Kenyans abroad grew by 28 percent compared to the same period the previous year when the lender handled Sh79.8 billion.
The volumes helped boost the bank’s forex trading income to Sh2.84 billion in the period under review.
This means that Equity handled nearly 50 percent of the country’s diaspora remittances largely due to its fintech capabilities.
While releasing the nine-month results this week, Equity Managing Director and CEO James Mwangi said the growth was a result of a strategic decision to make diaspora remittances affordable.
“We were not greedy…it is not about how much we charge. Commissions are not the focus, but rather the focus is access to foreign exchange,” said Mwangi.
“What we have seen is that when it comes to our forex dealing, we are overcompensated because 25 percent of all the forex that we deal with is coming from the remittances, giving us an assured source that is helping us become one of the biggest players in trade finance.”
The bank earned Sh602 million in direct commissions from handling diaspora remittances, an eight percent surge from Sh557 million in the same period last year.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) placed the overall Kenya diaspora remittances in the nine-month period at Sh215.6 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent from the same period in 2018.