Uganda’s Centenary Bank Becomes Global Alliance for Banking on Values’ (GABV) first African member
The leading commercial microfinance bank in Uganda became the GABV’s first African member, and 20th member in total, today. The announcement recognizes the role Centenary Bank has played in Africa as a leading example of successful commercial banking that balances people’s interests and prosperity. The GABV believes its success signals the increasing influence of African banks on the world stage.
Centenary has been active since 1985, serving poorer communities in rural Uganda. It has helped to substantially increase the number of people with access to banking services in the country and now serves over a million customers, or a third of Uganda’s banking population.
‘The announcement of Centenary Bank’s membership of the GABV represents an important moment in the development of sustainable banking globally,’ said Peter Blom, GABV Chair and CEO of European sustainable bank, Triodos Bank. “It shows that values-led banking has become a genuinely global phenomenon.
‘Banks who put the long-term interests of people and the environment before short-term profit work – right across the globe. They offer a proven, credible approach for anyone interested in building a sustainable future for the international financial system. We are delighted to welcome Centenary Bank as our first African member, and look forward to working with other pioneers of sustainable banking in Africa in the future.’
Managing Director, Fabian Kasi, welcomed the announcement on behalf of everyone at Centenary Bank: ‘We are delighted to join the GABV. While the impact of our work is felt primarily in Uganda, we are part of an international movement of banks spearheading a values-driven, commercially successful approach to banking. We look forward to learning from our peers around the world, and sharing our experience helping to transform the lives of Uganda’s rural and urban communities.’’
Centenary Bank started as an initiative of the Uganda National Lay Apostolate in 1983 as a credit trust. It began operations in 1985 and became a fully-fledged commercial bank in 1993. It is active in 57 areas of the country, has 1,300,000 depositor clients, and over 125,000 borrowing clients – more than any other bank in Uganda. As well as focusing its core business on rural communities, Centenary has worked with partners to develop an extensive financial literacy programme a country-wide cancer awareness and screening programme and other community initiatives.
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