Kenyan banks reduce minimum loan levels

Jan 06, 2011

Banks in Kenya are changing their approach to microfinance, giving customers access to loans at lower levels.

Business Daily reports minimum amounts for lending have been decreased as institutions seek to compete with those specialising in smaller loans.

National Bank managing director Reuben Marambii explained his organisation has been providing amounts as low as 1,000 Kenyan shillings (€9.40) in the form of overdrafts.

"Banks are realising that there are customers who go to Shylocks and microfinance institutions because they do not know that larger banks can also lend these small amounts," he said.

Kenya Commercial Bank, meanwhile, has halved its minimum loan level, with chief executive Martin Oduor-Otieno stating the move comes as part of an effort to cater for the "whole spectrum" of customers.

An improvement in the country's economic position recently prompted Standard & Poor's to raise its sovereign credit rating to B+, with a stable outlook.