National Bank has launched a business club as it seeks to strengthen its foothold in the small and medium enterprise sector
Nairobi: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014:
National Bank has launched a business club as it seeks to strengthen its foothold in the small and medium enterprise sector. Through the club aptly named “National Business Club”, the bank intends to widen opportunities to its business customers by offering members benefits such as access to workshop training on entrepreneurship, networking opportunities, business advisory services and business trips to tap into new and emerging markets.
Speaking during the launch, National Bank Managing Director Munir Sheikh Ahmed said the launch of the new Business Club was a wider strategy by the bank to tap into the growing SME sector. “As a bank, we see our SME clients as partners in business who deserve the best in terms of availing opportunities to help them grow with us. The unveiling of National Business Club complements our core mission for which the bank was established 46 years ago – to assist indigenous businesses realize their dreams,” he said. National Bank recorded a profit before tax of Ksh1.81 billion for the year ending 31st December 2013, up from Ksh1.16 billion in 2012, representing a 57% growth.
The earnings were mainly buoyed by the growth of its loan book from Ksh29.70 billion in 2012 to Ksh47.85 billion in 2013 billion fuelled by increased lending to SME borrowers. Mr. Ahmed said the bank was keen on empowering its business customers by giving them necessary exposures and networking opportunities. “Most SMEs face capacity challenges either in terms of technical knowledge on how businesses operate or funding and cash flow constraints. Our club members will be able to benefit from expert business advice and financial management through seminars and workshops, external trade facilitation, preferential interest rates and exposure to global best practice through business trips abroad,” added Mr. Ahmed. Last month, the bank sponsored about 60 business people for a 10-day business trip to China to expose and educate them on new business ideas from one of the World’s fastest growing economy.
The customers visited four major Cities in China - Hong Kong, Sheng Zen, Guangzhou and Yiwu. The bank will be targeting to enlist entrepreneurs who sign up for the business club to grow its customer base. Club membership will be automatic once one opens a Business club account.
About National Bank National Bank was incorporated on 19th June 1968 and officially opened on Thursday November 14th 1968. At the time it was fully owned by the Government. The objective for which it was formed was to help Kenyans get access to credit and control their economy after independence. It has since grown to be one of the largest commercial banks in the country with staff of 1800, a growing network of 75 branch outlets across the country, 140 ATMs and electronic channels of Mobile and Internet Banking. National Bank offers Corporate Banking, Business Banking, Retail Banking and Islamic Banking with an extensive portfolio of products and financial solutions tailored for the requirements of a broad spectrum of customer segments it serves. A wide spectrum of products are offered by the bank to meet customer needs including, Financing, Trade Services, Mortgages, Account Services, Custody Services, Islamic Banking, Cards Services, among others. The Bank has a Centralized Information Communication Technology System (also referred to as “branchless”) aimed at improving controls, efficiency and customer service. The Bank is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.