Co-op Bank opens APIs in a bid to promote partnerships and innovation among corporates, Sacco’s and SMEs

Co-operative bank has opened its APIs to help promote partnerships and innovation & build disruptive business models and platforms that deliver a seamless customer experience.

An application program interface (API) is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. An API defines the correct way for a developer to request services from an operating system (OS) or other application and expose data within different contexts and across multiple channels. An Open API also known as a public API are published on the internet and allows the owner of a network- accessible service to give a universal access to customers.

APIs are simple and easy to use, and accessible from web or mobile application. They provide an easier and faster way of partnering with Fintechs. Besides being a safe and secure mode of transacting, APIs enable real time update of payment status to deliver a seamless customer experience.

The Bank believes in co-creation and innovation that enables people, businesses and the society to grow. It believes that innovative products and services that benefit their customers and the public in general are key to success.

With the Co-op APIs dubbed Co-opConnect, the Bank aims to publish as many banking services as possible enabling their Corporate and Sacco customers to add value to their mobile apps & web services.

There’s two categories – the account information services APIs and the transactional APIs.

The Transactional API’s feature the regular banking functions:

Internal Funds Transfer – transfer funds from a Co-op Bank account to another Co-op Bank account.

Pesalink send to account – this enables customers to use Pesalink while sending money from a Co-op Bank account to another bank account in a different bank.

Instant Notification Service – real time notifications to a customer’s accounting system of any activities in the respective customer’s account i.e debits and credits.

Send money from a Co-op Bank account to an M-Pesa wallet.

Account Information Service APIs

This category shows the account balance as at a given time. The balances have many variations:

Cleared, Booked, Blocked, Available, Un-cleared Balance and Arrears Amounts. Clients also use this feature to access their overdraft limits information.

Other features on the Account Information Service APIs include:

Account Transaction Inquiry – Shows the status of a specific transaction. For example was a cash deposit successful.

 Account Mini Statement – Shows the latest 10 transactions in your account.

Exchange Rate Enquiry – Show the days foreign exchange for all major world currencies e.g. USD, GBP, EUR, CAD etc. that are offered by Co-op Bank.

Account Validation – Confirms that a provided account (mostly from a third party) is a valid account number within the bank’s system.

Status Enquiry – shows status of a specific request for example if you send a Pesalink transaction on Open Banking the status enquiry API will provide an update whether the transaction has reached Co-op Bank and is been processed.

Before launching an innovation, Co-op Bank ensures that it weighs the business needs and the prevailing market situation versus the opportunity. This ensures that it meets the customer need and keeps up with the changing market trends.

Co-op API’s can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Laikipia County and Co-op Bank in a joint venture to fund over 7000 entrepreneurs through the Laikipia Entreprise Fund

The Laikipia County Government and the Co-operative Bank of Kenya (Co-op Bank) have today launched the Laikipia Enterprise Fund with an initial kitty of Ksh 300 million, to offer affordable financing and business support to co-operatives and entrepreneurs in Laikipia County.

To kick-off the Fund, the bank and the county government have entered into an Interest-Sharing and Guarantee Arrangement.  This is aimed at supporting two key segments;

First, to empower co-operatives in Laikipia County through affordable financing and Consultancy Services, to enable them have sufficient liquidity for lending to members, and strengthen their management structures, and

Second, to support over 7,000 entrepreneurs in Laikipia County recover from the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic by way of affordable financing and training.

Borrowers will pay single-digit interest rates, which makes this arrangement perhaps the most affordable lending program in Kenya today. The low interest rate has been made possible by the interest-sharing arrangement, whereby the Laikipia County Government will be offering an interest subsidy of 5 per cent, thereby reducing the bank lending rate from 12.1 per cent to 7.1 per cent per annum for all borrowers.

Co-op Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki
Co-op Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki

In addition, borrowers will enjoy a reduced appraisal fee at 1.5 per cent of the approved loan amount.

Co-op Bank will match three times the amount that the County Government will place in the Enterprise Fund, to ensure as many borrowers benefit from the opportunity. In addition to financing, the bank will make available the full basket of services that include digital banking tools, workshops for business training, and capacity-building consultancy services for co-operatives.

Repayment period for the loans will be upto 12 months for SMEs and upto 18 months for co-operatives.

The county government shall undertake initial vetting of loan applicants as provided for in the Laikipia County Enterprise Fund Regulations 2020. Co-op Bank will further appraise for qualification.

The Laikipia Enterprise Fund commences operations immediately.

Jamii Bora Bank accepts Co-op Bank’s offer for 90% Stake

The acquisition of 90% of Jamii Bora Bank Limited by The Co-operative Bank of Kenya was successfully approved. The highlights:

  1. Co-op Bank has been pleased to note that the shareholders of Jamii Bora Bank, have pursuant to an Extra Ordinary General Meeting held on 1st July 2020 unanimously approved Co-op Bank’s offer to acquire 90% of the bank. This will be through the subscription of 224,153,154 new class of Ordinary Shares that would enable Co-op Bank inject Kshs.1 Billion and appoint a Board to run the business.
  2. The Co-operative Bank Group is one of the largest banks in the region with an asset base of over Kshs.470 billion, predominantly owned by the over 15 million member Kenya Co-operative movement. The following are the related companies;


  • The Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited.
  • Co-optrust Investment Services Limited – 100%.
  • Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency Limited – 100%
  • Kingdom Securities Limited – 60%.
  • Co-operative Bank of South Sudan Limited – 51%.


  • CIC Insurance Group – 24.7%.
  • Co-op Bank Fleet Africa Leasing Limited – 25%.

  1. Jamii Bora Bank is a fully-fledged Commercial Bank, licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya, with over 444,000 customers in 17 branches and employs over 190 staff. The Bank has a strategic niche in MSME banking, offering working capital and trade finance solutions. Jamii Bora Bank has also the following businesses;
  • Jamii Bora Leasing Limited.
  • Jamii Bora Insurance Agency Limited.
  1. The next steps will now be the regulatory approvals notably from Central Bank of Kenya, Capital Markets Authority and the Competition Authority of Kenya.
  2. The strategic entry of Co-op Bank coming in as a 90% strategic owner is an “Inclusive Growth Model” that particularly safeguards the existing shareholders of Jamii Bora; in that they will now share in the expected future Transformation gains/profitability growth.

This acquisition will strengthen both institutions leveraging on the Co-operative Bank’s well-established Universal Banking model as well as our successful business Transformation Agenda/Turnaround riding on the bedrock of the 15 million member co-operative movement and a Kshs.470 Billion balance sheet.

Co-op Bank had a profit of Kshs.20.7 Billion as at 31st December 2019 and on 23rd April 2020 paid out over Kshs.5.9 Billion in dividends to our shareholders.

The secret to successfully invest in a Matatu and still keep your sanity intact

There’s never a dull moment on Kenyan roads, for our Matatu crews. It’s a world of pulsating adrenalin, theatrics and daredevil stunts. It’s a constant rush against time, deadlines and the endless hide-and-seek with lawmakers donning the white, peaked caps.

In every teen’s struggle with identity, a large percentage has given serious thought to join a Matatu crew as a lifetime career choice. I mean, it seems so cool. The conductors are usually awash with currency, and decked in the latest fashion trends. This industry, unlike uptight office careers, allows a lot of freedom. Dress code. For who?

Hair styles?

You fancy hair dyed bright red? Dreadlocks? Punk hairstyles with clean-shaven sides? In this industry, this is game!

The city is vibrant with color from awesome graffiti on pimped-up Matatu rides. Its pure art. It’s a culture that celebrates diversity of tastes and doesn’t give credence to tribal origins. Striking graffiti themes ignore color, creed or origins.

Sports. Music. Hollywood. Hip hop. Ghetto. These graffiti themes unify people in the city as one.

An occasional brush with the law adds a bad-boy image to the trade. The perpetual rush to beat deadlines, or make some quick cash may inspire an illegal turn, or a prohibited pick and drop. These episodes are usually well-managed and the two strange bedfellows have learnt to share the limelight.

A lot of people depend on this trade, indirectly. There’s youth who earn bread by merely calling out passengers at bus termini. Large hordes of hawkers sell their wares in the Matatu as they wait for their clients.

Regretfully, some of these Matatu make stunts on the road that sometimes result in loss of life, or damage to property. There has been calls and movements to sensitize proper driving practices. Increased awareness has had positive impact as passengers now readily call out recklessness.

The uncelebrated souls in this trade are the invisible owners and investors. Think of the insane levels of stress one has to endure on a daily basis, with a bunch of unapologetic clowns running your investment worth millions of shillings?

Unless a proper business strategy is in place, early trips to the doctor for stress-related complications are inevitable.

At Parklands, there is an open-air auto garage – cluttered on one section with written off engine blocks, bonnets and dusty car seats. This yard belongs to a cheeky, jovial Arab gentleman who invites freelance mechanics to work freely, as long as they source for spares from his shop. It’s always busy, and noisy.


His name is Nawaz Khan, or simply as The Mechanic. Nawaz likes to narrate of his journey in the Matatu trade, of which his family has invested tens of millions. In the early days, before the famous Michuki Laws that trimmed the insanity in the streets, Nawaz always had high blood pressure.

One driver has been arrested.

One Matatu has been rear-rammed on Mombasa Road – designated route is Thika Road.

One Matatu has been nabbed transporting illegal substances.

The calls would come through all day long, always something needing attention with his vehicles. He wouldn’t get off the streets, though. Nawaz had literally grown up in a Matatu – watching his father drive.

Luckily, the Michuki Laws had the Matatu owners form Sacco’s. Each investor gave up the daily running of his vehicles to the Sacco, and settle with weekly bank remittances. This greatly worked in Nawaz’s favor: work fulltime in his auto-spare business.

On a weekly basis, Nawaz uses his phone to check his Co-op Bank account. With the New Co-op Internet Banking, Nawaz easily requests for bank statements for free.

It’s inevitable that a lot of riff raff hang out at his yard for the odd jobs, and he recently lost his wallet. The New Co-op Internet Banking had allowed him to easily block the Co-op Bank cards in the lost wallet. Since then, he has embraced cashless transactions.

The New Co-op Internet Banking allows a lot of other activities: Buying airtime and internet bundles directly from the account, make utility payments like cable TV, water and power bills, and lots more.

Harambee Sacco launches instant card-issue to members

One of the leading Savings & Credit Co-operatives in Kenya, Harambee Sacco has today launched instant card-issuance to members. This means that members of Harambee Sacco can, from today apply for and instantly receive a Visa Debit card and immediately start using the card to transact in the usual way at any Visa-branded outlet including ATMs, Co-op Bank Agents or to shop at Visa-branded outlets and online stores.

This instant card-issue system is enabled by the Co-operative Bank. It gives the Sacco the capability to print Visa Debit Cards right at the branch, at that very moment a customer applies for a card.

This is a first for Sacco’s, and a huge change from the current practice where members have to wait for up to two weeks to receive their Visa debit cards.

Harambee Sacco is one of the largest Sacco’s in Africa with over 70 thousand members, an asset base of Ksh 30 B and runs 6 branches spread across the country.

Speaking at the launch held at head office of the Sacco – Harambee Sacco House, the Chairman of Harambee Sacco Mr. Macloud Malonza lauded the partnership between Harambee Sacco and Co-operative Bank that enabled the new solution, which will significantly boost convenience for Sacco members saying;

“The launch of this instant card issuance is timely, indeed overdue, as it will greatly enhance convenience for our members who from today no longer have to wait for weeks before they receive their cards. Furthermore, this instant issuing of cards is consistent with Government guidelines intended to minimise the use of cash in favour of cashless transactions in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. As a Sacco, we invite our members who do not as yet have debit cards to visit our branches and apply.”

Speaking at the same function, the Director of Co-operatives Banking at Co-op Bank, Vincent Marangu said, “This launch is the latest among various digital banking solutions provided by the bank to enhance the efficiency of Co-operative Societies for the benefit of their members and prosperity of the Co-operative Movement at large.  This instant card issuing solution will be rolled out to all Sacco’s that are providing Visa Debit cards to members through the Bank.”

With the roll-out of instant card issuance, Co-op Bank will extend this service to millions of Kenyans through the regulated Sacco’s in Kenya.

To dads making selfless sacrifices for their families – Happy Father’s Day!

My third floor balcony overlooks a fish market. It’s nothing fancy, just a smattering of polythene paper stalls. The smell of fish sometimes is overwhelming, and the view is an eye-sore. But it’s the people in the market that are close to my heart. I like watching the vendors call out to their customers – each lady has a characteristic call – sometimes a whistle, a screech.

The most intense moments happen when the fishermen bring in their catch. This trade calls for a level of roughness, some bit of violence. A lot of the fishermen are usually tipsy, and will likely head back to the drinking dens after the sale.

Over time, I’ve noticed the rough, tipsy fishermen never sell all their catch. There’s always a bunch of fish sewn over their gills set aside from the sale. This is meant for their families. However carefree these men may appear to be, they always have their families in mind.

Their wives and kids come first.

This is what being a father means. From my balcony, I can see the pride and purpose in their steps as they first head home to deliver the daily bread, then stroll out for a stiff drink with their peers.

Back in the days, festive seasons would bring me a heavy cloud of sorrow. Christmas, Easter, occasional birthdays…name them all. I’d dread them. Because we always had to slaughter some animal. In the village, we’d be close to the animals we kept – and it’d take days before I got over it.

This ceremony was a masculine affair, and I still think of the chilly mornings. It was always early, before the children woke up. As the eldest son, sleeping in was a luxury. My father would rap on my door (my brothers and I lived in a separate house) – and whisper hoarsely:

“Ken! Ken! Go get the goat!”

I didn’t like it, but I’d jump out of bed. In those days, you’d be teased for days for a sign of weakness. In those days, it was deemed manly to show no fright at the sight of blood.

I’d grab the chosen goat and disappear into the semi-dark banana grove behind the main house. For a few minutes, I’d kneel with the goat’s head in my arms. I’d try to explain to the goat why it had to go down this way. I always felt like Judas Iscariot, with his 30 pieces of silver.

Shortly, father would appear with a knife and a small bucket. He’d wrestle the goat to the ground, and tie up his feet. He’d ask me to kneel on her back – to hold her down. Then, time would slow down…..

The overpowering smell of blood would hit me first. Then, the smell of sweat, and dung on father’s khaki overalls would join in. Nausea almost always overran me, and I would retch and vomit.

Father would look at me softly, and sometimes pat me on the head.

“Don’t worry, Ken. They die so that we may live”.

It’s been several decades, and these sacred memories never leave me. Memories of these solemn words, told over a bleeding goat.

Father is now retired, and no longer wrestles goats on festive days.

He now runs a butchery, albeit from home. He’d used a section of his pension, and I had acquired a Coop Bank loan – we jointly own this venture. His role is to source for live animals from the community – he’s gifted with amazing people skills. I take over from the slaughterhouse – distribution to various retail outlets and institutions, like hospitals and hotels.

It’s easy business, thanks to the New Co-op Internet Banking that allows me to manage my Co-op Bank account from one place. It allows real-time monitoring of payments to the butchery account through the Co-op Bank M-Pesa pay bill number 400200, and direct cash transfers via M-Coop Cash App.

I can also access banking features like statements, buying airtime and internet data direct from my account. The New Co-op Internet Banking allows convenient fund transfers to M-Pesa or any local bank account.

Towards dusk, I send the old man a message on his phone: Happy Father’s Day.

Fatherhood is a tricky responsibility and there’s no handbook, yet. A big part of who we are is a reflection of the fatherhood we grew up with…

The chilly mornings in the countryside inspire thoughtful reflections on eventual retirement

If it doesn’t presently hog your mind, the thought of retirement is a pensive moment for a lot of people. What is it like to have no work deadlines, board meetings and back-to-back meetings every morning? How does it feel to know one is living the last third of one’s life?

In the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, working from the village has been an inspiring period. The countryside is full of energy, for the conscious one. Open your eyes, soak it in.

They say, to know an area you have to study the natives.

In my case, I had a perfect study subject, my elderly father – now gracefully retired and approaching his sunset. Perhaps, that’s why he has a thing for sprightly, early mornings and lazy sunsets.

From the wide veranda below the grass eaves of his Thingira, Papa watches the sun rise. The compound is wide, and green with dewy grass. Icy cold droplets of dew catch the early rays of the sun, and reflect it in a glassy show of purity. The lone Ayrshire cow, off leash, grazes silently along the Kei Apple fence.

He sits alone, pensive, in his aged lawn chair. On the first days of the lockdown, I’d wake up early and join him. I’d quickly learn it’s not his favorite time for chit chat, and we’d sit silently staring over the beautiful valley – bespoke with rising plumes of early morning fires from the conical huts on the countryside.

The chilly mornings, we’d think. While I’d think of my colleagues, the antiseptic smell of stationery in the office and the incessant ruckus of hawkers and hooting cars, I’d wonder what the old man was thinking about.

I asked once.

Well, the new pandemic was troubling him. While Papa had lived through some of the most iconic moments in the country’s history, nothing had prepared him for this pandemic. Some were ecstatic, happy moments – like November 17th, 2006 when the Maasai Mara Game Reserve was declared one of the Seventh Wonders of the World.

For a retired game warden, it was a good moment to be alive.

On the political front, August 27th 2010 had dawned with his beloved country checking in a new constitution.

The old man was pensive, for most of his family lived in the city, and am the only one who had managed to leave the city before the lockdown. He didn’t seem pacified when I mentioned his granddaughter and son in the city would be alright, as they’d certainly follow government directives.

My kids were college students in the city, and lived together in a rented flat. I’d speak to them often, and had asked them not to worry the old man with details of the lockdown.

One chilly morning, as the orange orb of light oozed its rays over the valley, Papa had demanded to know how I knew his grandkids were okay.

I slowly explained that banking had come full circle, since then. It was slow, but it helped that he was a Co-op Bank member too, channeling tea and coffee payments through his account there.

In that chilly morning, with the Ayrshire cow grazing only a few feet away, I had taught him about MCo-op Cash App – and how that seamlessly allowed me to pay bills for my kids directly.

“What bills?” He’d demanded.

“All of them. Rent, KPLC bills, DSTV bills, water bills….” I’d told him.

Naturally, he wanted to help. He still had tea bonuses in his Co-op Bank account.

I showed him how MCo-op Cash App allowed me to check account balances, withdraw funds, get account statements and even apply loans. There is also the MCo-op Cash Paybill number 400200 that allows direct deposits to a Coop Bank account.

Papa didn’t have a ‘city phone’ as he refers to smart phones. However, his phone can still handle Co-op Bank’s USSD number *667#, for a similar banking menu, but…..

“Get the rope, she’s about to get a calf!” He shouts, pointing at the cow.

Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch or click here, to learn about Mobile banking (M-Coop Cash) and its ingenious ways that eases up banking.


An interesting account of the tense moments at the Nairobi County lockdown barrier on Thika Road

Have you travelled to Nairobi City from other counties, lately?

Well, the lockdown road blocks are a thing – to stem the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic. The tension, the uncertainty as one waits for clearance to leave or enter the city is almost tangible.

The Thika Road block, for instance.

This road block has been mounted off Thika Town, at the Del Monte Factory point. It’s meant to stem the flow of humanity to and from Eastern and Central region. Its perhaps one of the busiest, round the clock.

This is where I am, on a cool Wednesday afternoon seeking to re-enter the city after a few weeks working from the rural home.

A mile or so to the actual block, we join the queue of cars. There are a smattering of armed police officers on foot patrol, holding brief conversations here and there. Presently, a smiling officer asks passengers in our van to alight and walk towards the front of the queue.

The policy is that only the driver stays in a vehicle, to the road block. It’s a work staff van, and everyone has permits. But, still, everyone is silent and nervous.

We alight and start the walk.

The slow mile to the check point feels weird. It’s laden with dreadful feelings. Will I pass the test once again? Have I interacted with a risky person of late?

Dear Lord, I know I’ve sinned and fallen short …. You get it, right? It’s ok to be prayerful.

The walk to the road block testing point reminds one of the 999 steps to the famous Heaven’s Gate. No, not that heaven. We talking of one of the world’s most spectacular locations – a stunning tourist attraction in Hunan, China.

The 999-step stairway to Heaven’s Gate is an architectural wonder, winding up a stunning piece of landscape around Tianmen Mountain. Global tourists have made iconic challenges climbing, hiking and even driving up the steps. It commands a Mecca-kind of reverence for wanderlusts.

Well, the testing tents have a long queue.

It’s easy to ignore the happenings in the tension leading up to the tests, but there’s a lot happening – especially on the business level.

While the pandemic has slowed down and closed up lots of businesses, it has also spawned a couple. At the Thika Road check-point, there’s a lot of personnel around the clock – and this has attracted entrepreneurs.

The road block has security officers, medical officers, charity organizations’ staff and elements of administration. This obviously needs welfare planning from refreshments, feeding and other essential services.

On our queue as we await our turn on the test, a lady in a smart orange apron comes along. She’s balancing colorful, blended juice in tumblers on a tray, selling at Kes. 50/- a piece. They seem tantalizing.

Anything to make us release the tension of the looming tests.

“Have some juice, brother. You are sweating”, she tells me.

“Ok, what’s in it?” I ask, pointing to a reddish-yellow tumbler on her tray.

“Oh, that’s mango juice blended with guava…Its delicious” She says, handing it to me.

“Sina cash, tutalipa vipi?” I ask.

I also want to treat my colleagues. The bill comes to Kes.200.

“I prefer cashless payments. Cash ni risky sana kwa hii road block”. She says. Her name is Naomi.

Naomi visibly lights up. She’s well spoken.

She informs us that she has a Co-op Bank account, and the bank recently assisted her get a till number at no cost on which clients can send money straight to her account. Alternatively, we could also pay through Coop Bank’s M-Pesa pay bill number 400200 straight to the account.

In my case, though, I opted to pay via M-Coop Cash app on my phone. It was easy and convenient – to send money from my Coop Bank account straight to hers – via M-Coop Cash app.

For a minute, we forgot the tension leading up to the test.

For startups or established business owners, learn more on E-commerce Business Solutions or visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments at no cost.


The various types of boda boda riders, from interesting to the irritating!

What’s it with the boda boda guys?

They are sometimes a deplorable lot, morally decadent and vulgar loudmouths. Yet, an integral part of the social fabric that holds communities together.

It’s no wonder then that everyone has a favorite boda boda guy.

Like apples in a barrel, they come in a variety. While the group largely has outstanding, morally upright individuals, a barrel of apples definitely won’t lack a pair or so of rotting specimen – and, this is what tarnishes an otherwise good past time.

There are several types in this barrel.

The Talkative Fellow will not let you settle on the bike seat properly, before he starts talking. It doesn’t matter if you are listening or not….he’ll rat out on which of his colleagues takes a shower or doesn’t. He’ll remind you of the day the beer truck tipped over at the market. They are conniving bastards – he calculates his speed based on the distance to your destination, so that every story doesn’t hang off halfway.

Sometimes, the talkative fellow hasn’t brushed his teeth, for days. Now, that’s a bad day for you!

The Political Rider keeps tabs on the political trends of the day.

“Hey, unaona huyu jamaa wetu akipata hii kiti tena?” He asks, wind blowing spittle backwards into your face.

You don’t like politics, but he keeps turning his head to catch your reply.

“Hapana, hajafanya kitu – huoni hii bara bara inataka repair?” You answer, timidly.

You realize it’s a mistake the minute you let the words fly out. He skids to a halt, dust flying. He turns to face you. Oblivious of time, the political rider then lurches into a 10-minute monologue on why the incumbent is still his candidate of choice. After a while, getting fidgety, you remind him that the next elections are still three years short.

“Maisha ni siasa, rafiki”, He says, sighing in exasperation at your apparent ignorance. Mercifully, he fires up his rickety bike.

The rider that puts your inner strength and fortitude to the test, is The Filthy, Dirty Rider. This guy hasn’t had a change of clothes in recent times. Sometimes, he’s dreadlocked and God-knows-what lives in those dreadlocks.

In a twist of irony, this type is usually very popular around bus termini, and their bikes? Oh, man. Their bikes are spotless, shiny and kitted out with fancy gadgetry.

The filthy guy lets the bike market itself. He doesn’t sit on it as he waits for clients. You’ll point the parked shiny bike – and the rider shall emerge from the shed. Since you’ve already made your pick, you’ll have to endure the ride.

You’ll suffer a mixture of disgusting body smells.

The Professional Rider.

This is the most likeable guy. He’s punctual and well-dressed in jeans, boots and heavy jackets. Unlike his peers above, he has a functional cell phone, and most clients call for services. Before the lockdown, business would run well past the night as he’s created a trustworthy client base.

One such professional is challenging his boda boda peers in my locality.

When Covid-19 pandemic struck, he’s had to change with the times. He’d invested in masks and sanitizers. The social distance directive that advises one client on a bike? He takes it seriously.

On payments, he’s turned to cashless payments. He has a Co-op Bank account. Recently, he learnt that Co-op Bank assists business owners to get M-Pesa Till numbers for their businesses, he didn’t waste time. The bank assisted him get one for his bike business at no cost!

A boda boda guy with an M-Pesa till number sticker on the fuel tank! That’s ingenious!

Now, his clients pay his bills via the M-Pesa till number on the bike’s tank, and the money is deposited straight into his Co-op Bank account.

Business owners can learn more on E-commerce Business Solutions or visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments at no cost.


The Co-operative Bank jolts banking sector by a record Kshs. 5.1 Billion profit in first quarter 2020

The Co-operative Bank Group has an encouraging winning angle against the obstacles occasioned by the ravaging pandemic to report a Profit before Tax of Kshs 5.1 Billion for the first quarter of 2020, a performance closely reflecting last year’s 2019 first quarter results. Profit after Tax was Kshs 3.6 Billion.

The Group has a comprehensive mitigation strategy to cancel out an unpredictable working environment demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic. They have a strategy intended to ensure full banking services continue being accessible to customers in a safe environment consistent with the Ministry of Health guidelines. Most attention has been thrust to digital channels, and branches remain open albeit with constant attention to detail to keep clients safe.

The report has a few highlights;

  1. Profit&Loss
  • Total operating income grew by 12.5%from Kshs11.1Billion to Kshs12.5 Billion
  • Total non-interest income increased by 19% from Kshs 4.2 Billion to Kshs 5.0
  • Billion
  • Net interest income increased by 8.5% from Kshs 6.9Billion to Kshs 7.5 Billion

Total operating expenses grew by 20.6% from Kshs 7.3 Billion on account higher loan loss provision and staff expenses.

  1. Balance sheet
  • Total assets grew by Kshs 44.7% (+10.5%) to Kshs 470.4 Billion from Kshs 425.7 Billion recorded in the first quarter 2019.
  • Net loans and advances book grew by 24.5 Billion (9.8%) to stand at Kshs 276.2 Billion compare to Kshs 251.6 Billion in 2019.
  • Investment in government securities grew by Kshs 22. 9 Billion (+11.5%) to Kshs 115.9 Billion compared to Kshs 103.9Billion in 2019.
  • Customer’s deposits grew by 6.9% from Kshs 317.8 Billion to Kshs 339.6 Billion.
  • Borrowed funds from development partners grew by Kshs 3.7 Billion (+15.5%) to Kshs 27.4 Billion compared to Kshs 23.7 Billion in 2019.
  • Shareholders’ funds grew from Kshs 82.0 Billion (+12.7) from Kshs 72.8 Billion in 2019.This has enabled the bank to continue to pitch for big ticket deals.
  1. Innovative customer delivery platform.
  • Through our multi-channel strategy ,the bank has successfully moved almost 90% of all customers transactions to alternative delivery channels ,an expanded 24-hour contact center ,mobile banking ,584 ATMs, internet and over 16,700 Co-op Kwa Jirani Banking agents
  • A successful universal banking model and the implementation of Sales Force Effectiveness has seen the group serve over 8 Milllion Account holders across all sectors.
  • Key focus on digital banking ,with all -telco MCo-op Cash mobile wallet continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of non-funded income with 5.6 Million customers  registered  and loans with over Kshs. 16 Billion disbursed in quarter 1 2020
  • Over 85, 252 customers have taken up the MSME packagers that we rolled  out in 2018, and 5,000 have been trained on business management and planning .We have earmarked  Kshs 15.2 Billion to MSME lending ,with Kshs 12.4 Billion disbursed to date.
  • Our unique model  of retailing  banking services  through Sacco FOSAs enabled us provide  wholesale financial services to over 479 FOSA outlets and issue over 1.8 million Sacco -link cards .

In a press release, Dr. Gideon Muriuki, Group Managing Director & CEO, also gave credence to the bank’s subsidiaries, like The Co-op Bank of South Sudan with a profit before tax of Kshs.20.7 Million before tax in first quarter 2020. Another major one is the Co-op Consultancy and Insurance Agency with a Kshs.250.5 Million contributed as at 31st March, 2020; and Co-op Trust Investment adding Kshs.20.5 Million.

In addition, the Group has re-aligned close to Kshs.15 Billion to cushion their clients servicing loans from the effects of the pandemic. Co-op clients have had loan repayment periods lengthened, adjusted interest moratorium periods and additional funding if need be to ride out the difficult period.

The Board of Directors have also approved the talks leading to 100% acquisition of Jamii Bora Bank Ltd, which has an asset base of Kshs.20.5 Billion. Due diligence for the acquisition is ongoing.

The Co-op Bank foundation also reports providing scholarships to a tally of 7,657 gifted but needy students across the country since inception. These scholarships cover includes full fees from secondary too university level, internships and later job openings.

Recently, Co-op Bank also boosted the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund with a cash donation of Kshs.100 Million.

In light of these details, it’s not a surprise that Co-op Bank was named Overall Winner of the Kenya Banker’s Association (KBA) 2019 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Award.

The saying ‘Good Old Days’ is outdated, and this is why the new times are hundred times better!

Good riddance to the good old days.

It’s debatable if the past days indeed merit the ‘Good Old Days’ tag. If you flinch whenever you hear that line, you ain’t alone. Everything new is better.

Old days versus new days, which is better?

The progressive amongst us would fight tooth and nail for new times. Healthcare is better. Roads and rail systems are better. In the so-called ‘Good Old Days’, simple mail would take ages to reach the intended party. There’s been huge strides in human rights activism and community awareness on topical issues like gender equality, FGM or even cattle rustling.

New is certainly better.

In urban and rural landscapes, a shopping center would have an influential, family-run business. This business would occupy an imposing building middle of the settlement, or a major street. The major flaw with such family-ran businesses, is that they’d be named after the family patriarch, and tag the sons.

Like, Mungai & Sons Textiles. Or, Mutisya & Sons Enterprises.

It didn’t matter if that family had a single son and several daughters, they’d be ignored. In some cases, the sons in a family would be useless drunks in that society, they’d still be tagged beside the founding father in the business.

Luckily, thanks to a spirited gender equality campaign, things have changed. The feminine gender has proved to be better entrepreneurs and better business minds to not run generational investments to the ground.

Bang in the middle of Kericho Town’s business district, nestled in a behemoth of a glass building, runs a girl-run business that’s the envy of other family-owned businesses.

We celebrate Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, in Kericho Town.

Jebet is a robust, brilliant lady – perhaps in her early 60’s – who founded and grew a baking business from a modest, cramped corridor-shop in the late 90’s. While it’s hard to picture her humble beginnings considering her current level, Rebecca intimates a difficult start. She’d dropped from school and found employment as a house girl, but quit after a few months to follow her passion. She’d rent a tiny shop off a corridor.

She’d bake tea cakes, then popularly known as Kaimati – and deliver to other businesses within her street.

Over the years, Jebet would grow from a tiny shop, rent bigger space, and hire staff. Besides, she’d juggle this motherhood as she was blessed with twin daughters one year into the business. However, the father to the twins passed away in a road crash. She’d chosen to remain strong and focused to keep her business afloat, and raise her daughters.

Those were the hard days. The business has grown to command a huge section of the bread industry in the Rift Valley. She’d incorporate her daughters, after college. Jebet and Daughters Ltd was born, and has since landed contracts to supply bread and confectionery to government establishments, NGO’s and learning institutions.

During this interview, the business mogul shuns formalities – insists to be addressed simply as ‘Jebet’. She’s quick to credit their success to a good working relationship with their banking partner, Co-op Bank.

Becky tells us that Coop has heavily invested in the convenient e-Commerce solution. It allows her to easily and safely make transactions with institutions, and receive instant updates on payments.

All payments are made to her business’s Co-op bank account, and the e-Commerce solution has an outstanding real-time processing speed. For NGO’s clients, the solution also allows payments in any currency – GBP, USD, EURO, or KES, which is convenient for both parties.

On her shop network in various streets, which used to run 24 hours before the Covid-19 pandemic, she insists on cashless payments. The Co-op Bank M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 is displayed conspicuously – allows direct payments to her Co-op Bank account. This is the same case with outlets in neighboring towns – the bank had assisted her get M-Pesa Till numbers for each outlet. All this is done free of charge.

It’s fascinating to learn how this business lady runs her business from a central office, and still find time for chit chat. Her business template would be a good starting point for other business owners with a desire to survive the harsh economic state in the country.

Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch to learn about the e-Commerce solution for your business, or log into the online banking platform. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments.

Long live Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, Kericho.

Does your neighborhood have that oddly-paired, yet popular couple that would break your heart if they moved away?

Every apartment block, or neighborhood has that one couple. That one couple that defines the life of that settlement. It’s usually a couple of seemingly mismatching partners – either in temperament or physical parameters.

The husband may be a dark, menacing, unsightly beast, while the wife comes off as fragile, beautiful and comely. The Beauty and the Beast fairy tale scenario. In other instances, the wife may be a landmine always waiting to explode, often in cross-balcony angry altercations – perhaps, even physical tussles. The hubby, though, contrasts as a living teddy bear, hard to irritate and always smiling.

Yet, they live happily.

I have been a Ruaka resident ever since I landed in Nairobi. Everyone knows everyone in my neighborhood – akin to an Ujamaa Village in pre-independence Tanzania.

Presently, I live in an apartment block off the main street, Munyeki Street. This section is hailed as Ruaka’s main artery in grocery and cereals.

This neighborhood has that one interesting couple.

Nyawira is a pleasant, bubbly, middle-aged light-skinned lady with a ground floor shop selling cereals and general household goods. She is always smiling and her infectious laughter rings along the busy street all day long. As expected, her shop is always ringed with customers – some haggling just for haggling’s sake.

Directly across the street, there’s Nyawira’s husband with a wholesale and retail charcoal outlet. He’s not a man of many words. He’s fondly known amongst resident college students as Mr. Grumpy. Stacked along his shop’s veranda, there are rows and rows of metallic tins brimming with charcoal. Unlike his chatty wife across the street, Mr. Grumpy’s premises is a No-Haggling Zone.

“Nipe makaa ya fifty”, a client says. Mr. Grumpy points at the relevant metallic tin.

The regulars know Mr. Grumpy’s work ethics. No one offers cash. There’s a colored poster on his door with a Lipa Na Mpesa Till Number 400200. All clients pay via the number, and Mr. Grumpy checks his battered phone. The number allows direct deposits to their Co-op Bank account.

Across the street, it sounds like a fun fair. Nyawira is juggling business with a couple of women and a little bit of good-natured banter.

“Mi staki mniletee Corona hapa!” Nyawira shrieks. “Keep distance. I still have a husband to look after!”

They entirely turn to look at Mr. Grumpy lounging in his seat across the street. Mr. Grumpy adds a new brow line to his usual scowl, for effects.

“Na staki pesa cash hapa.” Nyawira is at it again. “If pesa zenu ziko kwa bank account, piga transfer direct to my Co-op Bank account.”

“What if I don’t bank with them?” Asks Lucy, new at the shop.

“Usijali mamaa,” Nyawira soothingly assures her. “Co-op Bank iko na solution noma sana. Wana accept payments even from other banks. Ama vipi bwanangu?” She teases her husband scowling across the street.

“Inaitwa the e-Commerce solution by Co-op Bank.” Mr. Grumpy growls. “Ata ukiwa na Dollars ama Pounds wako sawa”.

Legend has it that Mr. Grumpy has a definite number of daily words, and perhaps such a statement may have exhausted it. No worry, his cheery wife will make up for it.

Real comedy comes when a customer wants items form both shops. They pick a tin of charcoal from Mr. Grumpy and cross the street to pick groceries from Nyawira. Since it’s the same till number, there’s a comical exchange between them as they confirm the bills and payments.

If this couple ever decides to move from this street, a lot of us shall weep, and grieve in sack cloth. That unlikely couple is the life of our neighborhood.


Why the local barber shop is a favorite daily stop for your man, though he takes a monthly shave!

There’s a common myth that’s taken root around us.

Has you heard someone say men do not engage in gossip? Well, let this myth be put to death by public stoning, just because it’s a lot of paperwork getting the largely conservative government to approve and provide a suitable firing squad.

Men gossip, and generally spread slander and hearsay to a great extent.

The only difference from women – accepted as ‘genetically programmed’ for gossip – is that the male gender is tactical while at it. Also, men hardly gossip out of spite or indignation but rather as a form of mild entertainment.

The male gender also rarely keep grudges. Out of sight, Out of mind.

Perhaps, the main reason that fuels the myth, is that men have a singular respect for their audience, and venue of this gossip. No self-respecting man will blurt information to a random neighbor they only meet on the stair landing.

Men have a circle of friends, and, most importantly, a purely masculine ‘gossip’ space devoid of the other gender that Biblically shaved Samson.

The Barber Shop. That neighborhood Kinyozi.

In the pre-Covid-19 days, the local barber shop was always packed. It was a typical man cave. Men would meet every evening after work to swap war stories. Modern war stories? Well, exaggerated versions of work and love conquests, EPL probable winners and definite losers…….list is endless.

In between, someone remembers that some flashy foreigner living on 2nd floor in his apartment block ships in mysterious bulky boxes every Tuesday at midnight. That juicy gem doesn’t leave the hallowed man cave.

A casual stroll to my Kinyozi gets me disappointed. I needed a trim, and stories. Its open, but none of the usual crowd. The seasoned barber/owner – Ricaldo – is also not at the premise, and his apprentice tells me he’s doing a house call.

In the face of the pandemic, Ricaldo has had to re-think tactics to keep his business afloat. He no longer allows a crowd at the premises. He offers new clients sanitization fluids and a surgical face masks free of charges. For regular clients, he does house calls – a client calls and makes an appointment for home services.

I know, not much for macho war stories in the house with the missus and kids around, neh? Can this pandemic end already!

Ricardo charges a small fee above the service fees, depending on the client’s home address to manage the overheads shuttling all over the estate.

He further embraced cashless payments for obvious reasons – liquid cash increases the risk of Covid-19 infection, and security concerns.

Ricaldo has a Co-op Bank account which allows clients to send money directly into the account using the Lipa Na M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 (at no cost). He’d also visited the local Co-op Bank branch whose staff assisted him acquire a Till Number for his barber shop – any payments are sent to his account. He monitors his apprentice’s payments in real time.

Ricaldo leans towards me. Like, someone with a huge secret.

“Well, I visited Kioko’s apartment block and got called to a door on 2nd floor. Turns out its full of some flashy foreigners….” He trails off.

“And? Come on, man!”

“Never mind. Just know they paid me very well – in US dollars and Sterling pounds. Directly to my Co-op Bank account – na si unapenda mushene jamaa!”

That’s how I first learnt of Co-op Bank’s iconic E-commerce solution for business owners.

Contact the nearest Co-op Bank branch for more details.


How a flashy pair of Fourth Formers easily rip off an entire batch of newcomers (monos) of their prized pocket money

Nkubu Town is a mid-tier business and residential township in Meru County. While previously ranked ‘sleepy’, the town’s in hot pursuit of the county’s major administrative sibling – Meru town, just a couple of miles north. High rise business projects are slowly changing the town’s skyline, and I had a dream to be part of this new tide.

I chose to invest into the hardware business field – supply building materials. While I had majored in business in college, my folks (who were the principal financiers) had little faith in this venture. The ravaging Covid-19 virus situation also didn’t help. I had to be different.

I was also informed that the construction field was filled with fraudsters. Conniving contractors are a dime a dozen. I didn’t say lest I gave off a cocky vibe, but I’ve had encounters with fraudsters that had weaned me off.

The first was an experience in my first week in high school.

A day or two after reporting day, we had settled in class in the evening. An innocent bunch of ‘green monos’ – freshly issued uniforms crisp and fitting. We still hadn’t started lessons, as belated reporting was ongoing. We hadn’t met all the teachers, yet.

Presently, a pair of smartly dressed gents in fitting blazers and blue jeans (and, white sneakers) enter our class. They introduce themselves as Biology and Chemistry teachers. They are well-informed, and pleasantly casual. While one intimates that he’s wishing for an administrative allocation as our class teacher, the other says he’s keen on drama – wants to know if there are any acting enthusiasts in our lot.

The entire class instantly wanted to be the ‘Next Break-out Star’ in Drama Club!

After a while, they tell of their purpose to visit. They express regret that they welcoming us with bad news. The bad news? One of their colleagues – a Physics teacher – had passed on just a day earlier. The school tradition is that students and teachers contribute to some welfare fund for the bereaved family.

Long story cut short, a pair of flashy, smart-talking Fourth Formers ripped us off our pocket money, after a tall story. They were so good – they successfully repeated that charade in four streams. Of course, they couldn’t be traced.

I lost Kes.500 on that evening’s preps.

For my business, I decided to learn from one of the town’s most established hardware merchants – The Kinoti G.K Hardware. The business is located in an iconic building along the highway that splits the town.

Meeting the gentleman took a while, but I learnt a lot as I waited at the premises. One, he rarely worked there. He ran the business from home. Two, the customers rarely came to the premises. All day long, I’d see pick-up trucks getting loaded for deliveries to construction sites.

When we met, the pleasant gentleman was keen to share his business strengths, on a mentorship role.

He had opted for cashless payments, and its success to the E-commerce solution offered by his banking partner, Co-op Bank.

E-commerce afforded him a variety of advantages.

Customers do not need to be physically present. Payments can be transacted at any time from any location in the world and delivery is done. For instance, Kenyans in the diaspora with construction projects in their rural homes would pay make payments directly to his Co-op Bank account. Delivery of materials to the site is then made.

With an outstanding real-time processing speed with average authorisation response times typically below 2 seconds, such clients would find it very convenient, and safe.

There’s more sales, too, as E-commerce allows flexibility for multiple currencies – Kes, USD, GBP and Euro.

Besides, a customer enjoys a variety of cards: International VISA credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards.

While I’d like to serve clients even in the diaspora, I said that am targeting local customers. The merchant advises me to visit Co-op Bank. They’d assist me get a Lipa Na MPesa till number for my business.

In the face of danger with the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s safer to go cashless with the E-commerce solution from Co-op Bank.

#StaySafe #StayHome



In the village, I’m afraid talkative Grandma is running out of fables and moral stories to entertain us!

The clarion call ‘Work from Home If You Can’ was a timely first, for our government. The face of the marauding Covid-19 virus became uglier, still, when schools and colleges had to close.

The general mood in college instantly grew grave: Yaani, hii kitu ni serious hivi?

Well, its family tradition to ship to the village when school closes. The family home is also better suited for ‘Social Distance’. The epidemic was just beginning to show its fangs locally but we already knew the secrets to combat it:

Wash hands frequently with soap and clean water, or alcohol-based sanitizers. Maintain social distance. Avoid contaminated surfaces, or items. If been in contact with someone who’s been fore-exposed, practice self-isolation for a fortnight – and present yourself for tests at a medical facility.

However, my brother and I hadn’t figured out some few aspects. Our maternal grandmother, for instance.

Grandma will tentatively make octogenarian this Easter. That hallowed weekend ranks higher than Xmas, in her calendar.

How do we explain the national hullabaloo surrounding this new epidemic? She’s very affectionate – likes hugging and petting her grandkids, especially her namesake. Won’t she take ‘social distancing’ as mildly offensive?

She ain’t lost on the trending bits, luckily, through her ageless transistor radio tuned to our vernacular stations. But, still…..

In her 80 years, lots of calamities have befallen our land, including the infamous State of Emergency Declaration – but none banned attending church. Certainly, none led to closure of learning institutions. Actually, enterprising youth would enroll in colonial schools to evade calls to join the militia.

We did settle quite well. Grandma slowly grew into the groove, and found great amusement with the hand sanitizers. Though she felt odd squirting it into her palms after every hand shake, she got used to it. She also stopped shaking hands, altogether. If you have grandparents, you’ll appreciate how hard that is. That’s like admitting you’ve been doing it wrong for an entire life time.

The curfew brought some discomfort. Being indoors has been a new thing. Grandma has always regaled us with stories from her childhood. On everything, name it: the early Mzungu days, her courtship (mis)adventures, notable tragedies in the locality, et al. However, we’ve not had a holiday in the village longer than a week at a stretch.

I’m afraid our talkative Grandma is running out of stories to tell us!

For a decade now, the family has got into an Easter weekend tradition – it’s also celebration of her birthday. We make a birthday party and hand over gifts. This year, though, that’s not happening. We have to figure out something.

She’s given up all farm work, save for her kitchen garden – fenced with wooden planks – behind the house. It’s her personal space, a ‘No Man’s Land’. It has, however, lately been neglected.

We decide to gift her a kitchen garden make-over.

In town, at the agro-shop to get supplies:

“Got some DAP fertilizer, sir?”

Of course.”  Ok, wash hands first at the entrance with soap and water!

Organic seeds – coriander, ginger, onion, beet root, red pepper, Kales and lemon grass. A length of rubber hose pipe and sprinkler.

The attendant is, in the face of COVID-19 threat, avoiding cash like the plague, no pun intended. He asks for cashless means: either pay with your Coop Visa Card, or alternatively pay via M-Pesa straight into a Co-op Bank account using Paybill no. 400200 – both options are free of any charge. We use the Coop Visa Debit Card.

The main dilemma, now: How do we get a way to work in Grandma’s garden without her knowledge? It’s supposed to be a surprise!



Co-op Bank sets the bar for corporates with a Kes.100million donation to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya becomes the first corporate institution to act by donating 100 million to the COVID-19 emergency fund to fight the ravaging pandemic. The contribution is expected to support the sourcing of critical life-saving medical supplies and equipment, especially ventilators.

In a letter released to media houses, Group Managing Director & CEO, Dr. Gideon Muriuki is recognizant of the fact that it’s a critical moment for our country, Kenya. He tagged the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as the biggest crisis of our time, particularly in the effort to source critical life-saving medical supplies and equipment, like ventilators that are in short supply globally.

Dr. Muriuki further appreciates the gallant efforts of H.E. The President, Uhuru Kenyatta, in leading the fight from the front and rallying the country to come together as one.

The appointment of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Committee to mobilize resources for the fight gives all Kenyans and indeed the entire community of goodwill the opportunity to offer their much-needed support.

The Group’s CEO further made a passionate appeal to other corporate institutions and Kenyans of goodwill to join hands and support the most worthy once-in-a-generation global fight against a common enemy.

We shall overcome; Psalm 91:1-4

Surviving Day One of the Nationwide Curfew: How many more till we slay the Covid-19 pandemic?

If we had to tentatively pigeonhole families by grades of general temperament, which one is your family bound to fall in?

The loud and happy? The silent and melancholy? The academics and intellectuals? The perennial party animals? The religious faithful’s?

Well, my family boasts of an eclectic medley of those traits. The good thing, and perhaps the fabric that keeps this unit afloat, is the fact that life hardly has us together.

Father is laid back, and not good at chit chat. With the right crowd – read, colleagues from work – he’d come alive. But then, the fluctuating prices of crude oil and its effects on the world economies isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. He works in the energy sector. At the dinner table, father is content to listen to our chatter.

He’s used to missing most family milestones and important holidays. Though he keeps tabs on our schooling, he’d hardly get past the quarterly term reports. Duty first. A man’s duty is to provide.

On the other hand, mother is the family’s Supreme Leader. The Captain of this ship. She keeps the discipline, or, rather, lack of. She has everything on her fingertips – birthdays, school days, medical appointments, et al. On her personality, she thrives on chit chat. She glows and bubbles when life gifts her with an avid listener. Something that hardly happens on the domestic front.

My twin brother is a lot like me. We’re in the same college, though pursuing different courses. We are on indefinite holiday after campus riots broke out over a comrade’s death a few weeks ago. Did you see the infamous Meru Technical College student who took off in a police truck, sirens blaring? That’s my brother. He’s now a celeb of sorts back in campus.

However, no one had foreseen the effects of the just-declared dusk to dawn curfew.

Father is in a foul mood. He lives for work, and hadn’t expected to be home for an unknown period. His company has had to scale down operations. To make matters worse, some inconsiderate relative had sent him clips of the campus riot, with his son commandeering the police truck. They haven’t spoken since.

But, man, the tension at the living room is almost tangible. What do we talk about? What do we watch on TV? The remote – is it proper to hoard the present day symbol of household authority in the presence of your father? It’s his TV, after all. Thankfully, he seems content poring over old cryptic puzzles.

My brother is keen on making himself as small as possible. He’s glued on his phone, and jumps every time father shifts in his recliner. The police truck ghost shall hang over his head for a long time. To pass time, I help in the kitchen, and no matter how slow we take it, dinner is served early.

Mother leads the grace, and watches everyone make a serving. Then everyone digs in, silent.

After a while, father mumbles something about being full, and starts upstairs. It seem like that’s the cue brother been waiting for. He shuffles off to his room. Mother looks sadly at me, “After all we did today, and they ain’t eating?”

Earlier today, we had spent time at the market, shopping for vegetables. It had been hectic, with hand washing points at every stall. More interesting, none of the women tending the stalls had wanted cash. Everyone asked us to send the payments from M-Pesa straight to their Co-op Bank accounts. Its risky handling cash, as the Covid-19 may be passed on thus.

We didn’t mind, as it’s free. No charges.

“Don’t worry, mum. They’ll be fine tomorrow. It’s been a while since we’ve all been together”, I tell her.

This curfew, so hard on Day 1 – can it end already!


Renaissance Capital’s insightful analyst comment on Co-op Bank’s audited 2019 results

Renaissance Capital is a leading independent investment bank, providing access to over 50 markets across the globe with operations in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

The firm’s unique on-the-ground footprint, with offices across the world’s top business capitals – Lagos, London, Moscow, New York, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Cairo and Nicosia – provides its clients with an unrivalled offering, serving as a gateway to emerging and frontier markets for international investors.

Renaissance Capital has carved a successful niche in several core businesses: Equity and Debt Capital Markets, M&A, Global Markets – including Equity & Equity derivatives, Fixed Income, FX and IR derivatives, Commodities, REPO and Financing, as well as Research and Prime Brokerage.

On the dynamic banking field, the firm has released an insightful market analysis on The Co-operative Bank of Kenya’s audited 2019 results, with several key highlights:

  1. Renaissance Capital maintain a BUY Rating on Co-op Bank stock, which they give a Target Price of KES 21.40, implying an upside potential of 45%.
  2. Co-op Bank continues to clean-up its loan book, with the ratio of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) improving to 9.9% in 2019 as compared to 10.3% in 2018.
  3. Co-op Bank has improved operating efficiencies by controlling costs, with the Cost-to-Income Ratio (CIR) improving to 52.1% in 2019 as compared to 54.6% in 2018.
  4. Co-op Bank’s proposed dividend of KES1.0 per share translates to a final Dividend Yield of 8%, as compared to 5% from KCB and 6% at Equity.

The firm steadily continues to provide a full scope of investment banking products to its clients, delivering a unique, integrated offering in emerging and frontier markets.





Co-operative Bank leads the banking industry with pre-tax profit of Ksh. 20.7 Billion in 2019

The Co-operative Bank Group is delighted to report a Profit before Tax of Kshs.20.7 Billion for Full Year 2019 compared to Kshs.18.2 Billion recorded in 2018, a strong growth of 14% in the year. Profit after Tax was Kshs 14.3 Billion compared to Kshs 12.7 Billion in the previous year.

The Group continues to leverage on the benefits of the “Soaring Eagle” Transformation Agenda that has re-tooled and equipped the business with added competitive edge as reflected in the sustained growth in market share across all market segments and Counties, which has progressively deepened our celebrated Financial Inclusion model rooted in the over 15 million-member co-operative movement that is the face of Kenya.

The Group has continued with a strategy of ‘increased dominance’ in the Domain Market Segment (Kenya) leveraging on our successful penetration of the Retail and Consumer Banking, Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises, Corporate Banking and the Co-operative Movement; while reviewing opportunities to grow alternative income streams from other services like Bancassurance and non-funded income streams.

Key financial highlights include; –

  1. Profit & Loss
  • Total operating income grew by 10.9% from Kshs 43.68 billion to Kshs 48.46 billion.
  • Growth in Operating Income attributed to an increase in Total interest income from Kshs 43.02 billion to Kshs 43.64 billion on account of; Interest income from government securities increasing by 16% from Kshs 9.79 billion to Kshs 11.35 billion. Interest income from loans & advances decreased slightly by 3.5% from Kshs 32.95 billion to Kshs 31.78 billion.
  • Interest expense remained under tight control, increasing marginally by Kshs 96 million from Kshs 12.24 billion to Kshs 12.34 billion. This was despite an 8.6% growth in deposits indicating improved management of the cost of funds.

     2. Balance sheet

  • Total assets grew by Kshs 43.6 Billion (+10.5%) to Kshs. 457 Billion from Kshs 413.4 Billion recorded at the close of year 2018.
  • Net loans and advances book grew by 21.31 billion (8.7%) to stand at Kshs. 266.71 billion compared to Kshs. 245.41 billion in 2018.
  • Investment in Government securities grew by Kshs.37.53 billion (+46.8%) to Kshs. 117.80 billion compared to Kshs. 80.27 billion in 2018.
  • Customers deposits grew by 8.7% from Kshs. 306.12 billion to Kshs 332.82 billion
  • Borrowed Funds from development partners grew by Kshs. 2.47 billion (+10.3%) to Kshs 26.42 billion compared to Kshs.23.95 billion in 2018.
  • Shareholders’ funds grew to Kshs. 79.33 billion in 2019 (+13.6%) from Kshs 69.86 billion in 2018. This has enabled the bank to continue to pitch for big-ticket deals.

      3. Innovative Customer Delivery Platforms

  • Through our multi-channel strategy, the Bank has successfully moved almost 90% of all customer transactions to alternative delivery channels that include self-service kiosks in 159 branches, an expanded 24-hour contact centre, mobile banking, 583 ATMs, internet and over 16,700 Co-op Kwa Jirani banking agents.
  • A successful Universal Banking model and the implementation of Sales Force Effectiveness has seen the Group serve over 8 million Account-holders across all sectors.
  • Key focus on digital banking, with the all-telco MCo-opCash Mobile Wallet continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of non-funded income with 4.8 Million customers registered and loans worth over Kshs. 43.1 Billion disbursed as at close of the year.
  • Over 70,000 customers have taken up the MSME packages we rolled out in 2018, and 5,000 have been trained on business management and planning. We have earmarked KShs. 15.2 billion for MSME lending, with Kshs. 8.05 billion disbursed to date.
  • Our unique model of retailing banking services through Sacco FOSAs enabled us provide wholesale financial services to over 479 FOSA outlets, and issue over 1.18 Million Sacco-Link cards.

      4. Subsidiaries

  • Co-operative Bank of South Sudan that is a unique Joint Venture (JV) partnership with Government of South Sudan (Co-op Bank 51% and GOSS 49%) made a Profit before tax of Kshs 240.6 Million in 2019. This performance however translated to a monetary loss of Kshs 344.7 Million attributable to hyperinflation accounting occasioned by currency devaluation of the South Sudanese pound.
  • Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency contributed 714 Million as at 31st December 2019.
  • Co-op Trust Investment Services has aggressively grown the funds under management to 102.1 Billion as at 31st December 2019 compared to Kshs. 40.5 Billion at as at 31st December 2018.

       5. Proposed Acquisition of 100% Shares of Jamii Bora Bank Limited

The Board of Directors of Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited reported on 11th March 2020 having approved the progression of discussions with Jamii Bora Bank Limited, which if successful, would lead to the Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited acquiring the 100% shareholding in Jamii Bora Bank Limited.

Jamii Bora Bank is a Kenyan bank incorporated under the Companies Act with over 350,000 customers in 17 branches and asset base of Kshs 12.5 billion.

The acquisition offers Co-op Bank the opportunity to cross-sell and deepen product offering to the enhanced customer base, and create a niche bank to offer specialised credit offerings that include MSME Banking, Microfinance, Youth & Women Banking, Asset Finance and Leasing.

  1. Corporate Social Investment

Co-operative Bank Foundation has provided Scholarships for gifted but needy students from all regions of Kenya. The sponsorship includes; fully-paid secondary education, full fees for University education, Internships and career openings for beneficiaries. The Foundation is fully-funded by the bank and has so far supported 7,657 students since inception.

       7. Accolades

Co-operative Bank was named Overall Winner of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) 2019 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Award. The Awards recognize institutions that practice sustainable finance which has a direct positive impact on the financial sector, the economy, the environment and the society. The bank scooped two more awards in the green energy space; being named Best Bank in Sustainable Finance in Kenya at the 2019 Energy Management Awards hosted by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, and in addition recognised as Overall Winner in Environmental Sustainability Reporting at the 2019 East African Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards held in Nairobi. The Bank was also named Best Bank in Kenya by EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2019.

       8. Dividend

 The Board of Directors has recommended for approval by the AGM the payment of a dividend of Kshs.1.00 per every ordinary share held subject to approval by the Capital Markets Authority.


 The Co-operative Bank Group will continue to deepen market share leveraging on the 8.8 million account-holder base, digital banking, the basket of innovative financial solutions, efficient delivery of services and multichannel access.