Instead, the chief executive of Equity Bank has realised that the interests of the wealthy must be better aligned with the less well-off to avoid global calamity – in essence, inclusivity is self-interest. It has been a punishing year for Kenya’s biggest bank. “Up to June we are down 24% after tax,” says Mwangi. Waiving the fees to use its mobile platform forfeits $2m per month in revenue.
Whole teams have been set up to work from home, with all the security and equipment costs this entails. “We have a 200-member call centre working from home, our debt-collection unit – another 200 people – working from home.” Most expensive is the extra money set aside in case customers are unable to pay back loans. “Our provisions have gone up 15-fold up to June to take the heightened risk that we perceive. We are insulating our customers from shocks.”
While the government has “been very generous” with
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