Caritas to increase market share through Christian foundation

By Ronald Owili

Caritas Microfinance Bank is seeking to ride on its established Christian foundation to increase its market share by targeting the unbanked and the under banked who make up 25 percent of the population.

Through this the bank hopes to increase its capital base to one billion shillings to support short term-lending via mobile with loans amounting to a maximum of 70,000 shillings.

The bank has so far disbursed loans amounting to 250 million shillings via mobile.

Caritas Microfinance Bank becomes the 12th MFB to commence operations, with shareholder capital amounting to khs 500m well above the ksh 60m threshold.

Backed by the Catholic Church, the bank is seeking to emulate Uganda’s 4th largest bank by assets Centenary Bank by tapping into the broad Christian population.

With a capital base of ksh 500m, caritas is now the 5th largest microfinance bank with deposits amounting to ksh 400m.

Chief executive officer George Maina says the bank is leveraging on mobile, establishment of agency banking at all parishes as well as internet banking to meet rising demand with short term lending.

According to Maina, 70% of all transactions will be done via mobile. He however says the bank will need an additional Ksh 500 million in capital to sustain the loan book which is currently at ksh 250m since issuance of its operating license.

The bank’s membership currently stands at 100,000.

Caritas has also partnered with Cooperative Bank and NIC Bank for ATM and cheque transactions cutting the need for additional investments.

The bank also targets to have 12 branches and 200 agency banking outlets by 2020.