NAIROBI, KENYA: Unaitas Sacco has unveiled a plan which includes branch expansion across the country in preparation to its transformation into a fully-fledged bank.
By end of last year the bank’s capital was at Sh3 billion which is Sh2 billion more than what regulator requires for an institution to become a bank.
Unaitas chairman Joseph Kabugu said the SACCO has completed an overhaul to its IT system for easier audit and the launch of mobile banking products and is also planning to open up eight more branches in Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Meru and Embu.
“All these activities will give us better opportunity to serve our clients and make the business more open to auditors and the regulator,” he said.
“We are waiting for a go ahead from Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) for the launch of the new branches sometimes in the year,” he said.
Unaitas mostly targets entrepreneurs running small businesses and individuals borrowing small amounts with average loans ranging from Sh10,000 to Sh200,000 for micro and SMEs.
In 2014, loans and advances to customers stood at Sh4.85 billion, a 33 per cent increase from Sh3.64 billion a year earlier.
Net profits growth was however modest and stood at Sh258.56 million in 2014 from Sh246.66 million, a five per cent increase.
On Tuesday the lender launched a reality TV show bringing together 12 Chamas (merry go rounds) in a programme that will run for a period of 13 weeks with an ultimate prize of Sh 5 million.
The lender said this is part of a plan to widen its reach. Other areas it considers include working with landlords, agents and tenants to increase cash flow.