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!


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.