BBK to reduce loan processing period by half

Barclays CEO Jeremy Awori. The revamped Busia branch will facilitate cross border trade.

Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) will reduce its loan processing period by half to enable the bank’s customer’s access money quickly and expand their businesses.

BBK’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeremy Awori said the move is in line with the bank’s 3-year strategy focusing on better service delivery to clients through multi channelled solutions.

“Part of our goals this year is to automate the loan processing system, which will slash by half, the amount of time taken to issue loans to our customers,” said Mr. Awori.

The move, he said, will enable the business community grow further their enterprises, taking the region to its rightful place among the fast modernizing economies of the continent.

Barclays Bank today opened a revamped Busia branch in what analysts see as a deliberate attempt to woo the cross border businesses community and financially facilitate the wider East African Community trade.

“Since the EAC integration commenced a decade ago, we have seen immense growth in business between the partner countries. As a financial services provider, our role is to ensure that we make the transactions seamless and spontaneous to all our customers across the region,” said Mr. Awori.

The Busia branch will provide banking products and services like savings account, loans, cash deposits/withdrawals, account balance inquires, funds drive, forex exchange among others in addition to providing a Business Banking portfolio for the SME sector in the county.

The border town branch comes barely eight months after the launch of BBK’s first 24 hour branch in Mombasa.

Although Mr. Awori did not specify how the bank will achieve the reduction, the move mirrors a general perception within Kenya’s financial sector, where players are looking for innovative methods to grow and improve customer experience respectively.

Late last month, a microfinance institution (MFI), Real People announced a tripartite partnership with technology firms, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Orange Telkom Kenya, to process their customer loans in a record 6 hours from a previous two weeks through a KES 100mn online platform.

The MFI will use field relationship managers equipped with tablets, to capture and upload all relevant loan application data necessary for quick approval processes.

The online platform will also enable borrowers check their loan balances and track their application processes through SMS.