Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: Bk Wins Fourth Bank of Year Award, Launches Express Money

It has been indeed a successful year for Bank of Kigali, Rwanda's largest financial institution by market share of total assets, loans, deposits after scooping the Bank of the Year 2012 Award from the Banker Magazine. This is the fourth consecutive year the bank is winning the award.

The Award, introduced in 2000 by the Banker magazine, is given to leading commercial and investment banks world-wide in recognition of their achievements and BK has won it consistently since 2009 becoming the first to do so in Rwanda.

This year, banks were judged based on their ability to deliver shareholder returns and to gain strategic advantage.

Lawson Naibo, the Bank's chief operations officer said last week that his Bank received the prestigious award because of the ability it has showed in delivering shareholder returns while scaling its efforts in bringing financial services closer to the people through branch and channel expansion and the continuous roll out of innovative products and services.

For his part, the Bank's chief executive officer James Gatera said the award a testimony of the fact that the bank is the leading institution setting trends with the introduction on to the market various innovative products making the lives of many Rwandans easier.

"We are honored to receive this award for the fourth consecutive year. This award, as well as other awards received this year, is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of our team and the trust our customers have placed in the Bank. We will continue to deliver solid results for our shareholders and take the lead in banking the unbanked," remarked BK's CEO Gatera.

Meanwhile, the Bank's Chairman, Lado Gurgenidze said it was an honor for his institution to win the award as it is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence.

The Banker Magazine is a publication of Financial Times Business Ltd, a member of the Financial Times group of companies. Since 1926, The Banker magazine has been at the forefront of financial publishing. It is published every month and provides investigative comment and expert analysis on the key developments in the global banking arena.

In a related development, Bank of Kigali announced the launch of 'Express Money transfer services' a new form of money transfer service which will enable Rwandans moves transfer money both internally and across a range of over 150 countries at competitive charges.

Express Money has been around for 12 years and is present in over 150 countries in about 170,000 locations with Rwanda becoming the latest addition.

Gatera says the new service will enable Rwandans in the Diaspora to easily send money home for development purposes.

Bank of Kigali is the only Bank in Rwanda currently offering the service which enables clients to send up to US$ 5000 per day either within the country or outside using the local Rwandan currency, the Franc.

Recipients can get the money in a matter of minutes either on their bank accounts or mobile phones and they don't necessarily need to have an account with the sending originating Bank.

With increasing regional trade between Rwanda and neighboring states, the new money transfer system will be a welcome addition to others like Western Union, mobile money and Swift Money transfers, according to Naibo.

The charges range from Frw 4,600 to Frw 105,000 depending on the amount of money being transferred.

According to the World Bank, over 70 per cent of money transfers in the region are informal and according to Naibo, encouraging the masses to use formal financial services will gradually bring down the cost charged for the services.

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