23 September 2012

Kenya: Banking Sector Research Meet Opens

Nairobi — Banking industry players and stakeholders converged in Nairobi last week for the inaugural 'Kenya Bankers Association Banking Research Conference'.

Coming in the wake of frosty relations between banks and their customers over the reluctance of the former to reduce lending rates despite a directive from the Central bank of Kenya, the conference witnessed sustained debate on the real drivers of interest rates in the Kenyan banking sector. Organized by the banking sector umbrella body Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), the two-day conference saw various researchers' present working papers on studies that cut across banking in Kenya.

Themed 'Fostering Objectivity in Banking and Financial Services,' the conference was officially opened by the Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Prof. Njuguna Ndung'u. In attendance were representatives from KBA's 43 member banks and other invited stakeholders, including representatives from the private and public sector.

The conference is one of the avenues that the recently founded KBA Centre for Research on Financial Markets and Policy will be using to inform the development of the banking sector.

While commenting on the conference, KBA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Habil Olaka said the conference is an indicator of KBA's renewed commitment to closer engagement with stakeholders for the benefit of the industry as well as the banking public.

"Our goal is to set and shape the agenda towards a more vibrant and sustainable banking sector. Towards this end, we have collaborated with researchers from the Central Bank of Kenya, the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Strathmore Business School, Kenyatta University, Egerton University, International Monetary Fund and the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA).

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