By Jackson Okoth
Retailer Equity Bank Group and Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) have entered into a partnership that will see the bank offer its products to EPZ enterprises at their Athi River Complex.
The move comes after intense competition in the retail segment, prompted by the gradual reduction in the cost of credit over the last four months.
Equity has opened a branch within the EPZ in an attempt to tap into some new businesses offered by the EPZ community – notably its contribution to job creation innovation and the import export business.
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“Equity Bank is committed to championing convenience in accessing financial services. That is why we have invested in a sub branch for the EPZ community to ensure that they can carry out their transactions within their working environment,” said Julius Kipng’etich, the bank’s chief operating officer.
He made these remarks yesterday in the company of EPZA chairman Mathenge Wanderi.
This was the first appearance of Kipng’etich, a former chief executive of Kenya Wildlife Services, seen by many as a possible successor to Equity Bank’s MD, James Mwangi.
The Equity Bank facility at the Athi River EPZ gate house, will see the bank offer tailor made financial services to EPZ enterprises. The partnership will also see a capacity development program being undertaken to equip the enterprises with adequate knowledge of the financial products and avenues to access them.
Also in place will be a financial literacy program for EPZ workers that will be funded by the Equity Group Foundation.
The Equity Bank sub-branch has an ATM lobby and an office for conventional banking services that can be accessed by the EPZ enterprises, developers and business service permit holders based at the Athi River EPZ Complex.
The partnership will see the two institutions share their strengths, experiences, technologies, and resources to foster investments in the EPZ programme.