Equity Bank South Sudan scoops prestigious international award

By: Mandela Nelson Denis

The Equity Bank of South Sudan came among the regional banks that shined at the International Bank Awards of the year 2019 held in London early December.

Despite the South Sudan’s inflation and currency depreciation, the Judges admitted that Equity Bank of South Sudan is doing well to manage the situation.

Dr. Addis Ababa Othow, the Managing Director of Equity Bank of South Sudan in his remarks at the Banker’s award said the bank will continue to invest in the country.

“We continue investing in innovation and creation of new distribution and service models that seek to improve efficiency and take banking services closer to the people thereby deepening financial inclusion and broadening access. This is in line with our vision of championing the socio-economic prosperity of our people.” Said Othow.

In a market that has been marred by hyperinflation and currency depreciation, the judges admired Equity Bank of South Sudan’s adaptation, and ability to trim its NPL’s ratio down from 70.5% to 14.3% in 2018. Profits surged by 240% in the same year.

The private Banking award 2019 was hosted by Yuri Bender, Editor-in-Chief of the Banker’s sister publication professional Management, and Joseph Mrak, global head of wealth management.

In Equity Bank’s business model and strategy, innovation and digitization feature very prominently with 97% of transactions being on digital platforms allowing the bank to transform its cost structure from fixed to variable costs with minimal investments due to use of 3rd party infrastructure.

“Instead of just providing banking services, we provide financial solutions with a business model that is economically viable, socially sound and has become very successful in shared prosperity.

 “One of our key strengths is our investment in capacity building. Empowering society through shared prosperity has given Equity Bank a human face and a soul,” said Dr. James Mwangi, Group CEO and Managing Director of Equity Group Holdings.

At the same event, Equity Bank was also recognized as the best bank in Uganda, with the judges being impressed by its stellar financial performance and its customized banking services for the country’s refugee community. The Bank has partnered with UN agencies to digitize payments to Uganda’s 1.2 million refugees. This partnership involves the bank opening UN-funded accounts for refugees who use the money to access different services.

While acknowledging the recognition, Samuel Kirubi, Equity Bank Uganda Managing Director reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to social and economic transformation.

“Equity Uganda has primarily focused on the deployment of innovative financial solutions through world class digital and agency banking channels that enhance financial inclusion and deepen financial access. We have also embraced ecosystem banking and partnerships to grow and widen our reach so as to serve more people,” said Samuel.

Amongst other banks that won awards were Citi Bank that won Best Global private bank, Industrial Bank as best performing bank, Union Bancaire Priveee, best bank for growth strategy, Lombard Odier, best private bank for brand strategy.

Equity bank South Sudan still remains a popular bank amongst the business community and the humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan for transactions.

The bank has also employed several locals holding key positions with the love of building their capacities.

Equity Bank South Sudan has several branches across the country and with one branch at the border town of Nimule town to fasten the payment of goods entering the country.

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