15 January 2013

Kenya: Chats With Bank CEOs Back Online

Nairobi — The Kenya Bankers Association's (KBA) online event "My Chat with a Bank CEO" will kick off on January 16 after it became an instant hit last year with more than 100,000 people following it via social media.

The initiative resulted in the registration of 700 people looking to speak directly to the different bank chief executives who hosted the quarterly chat sessions.

The first chat in 2013 will hosted by the CEO of Family Bank Peter Munyiri under the topic "The Agency Banking Model."

Other business leaders set to take part in the one-month program include the Managing Director of National Bank of Kenya Munir Ahmed, MD of Fina Bank Bhaska Ghose and the CEO of Equity Bank James Mwangi.

Ahmed will discuss the "The Interest Rate Environment" on January 23 at 10am and users can log on to www.kba.co.ke for the complete schedule, to register for the events, or to watch podcasts on the past events.

KBA CEO Habil Olaka revealed that 10 CEOs have hosted sessions so far, covering wide-ranging topics, including banks and the capital markets, financial inclusion, Islamic banking, mortgages and real estate investments plus career advice.

"The CEO chats have become quite popular reaching a wide audience each quarter and during the last event, KBA secured one of the top spots on the Google search engine, beating more than 60 million others for the key term 'CEO' in a period of six months," he added.

He added that the KBA chat sessions are open to all and encouraged members of the public to log on and engage in a productive conversation that will contribute to the transformation of banking in Kenya.

In November 2012, the 'My Chat with a Bank CEO' campaign (conducted in association with Capital FM) received over 100,000 hits on the strength of the social media engagement.

Capital Group Chairman Chris Kirubi has said that young people in Kenya have been seeking answers on how they can save and access funds to support their businesses so it was critical for the banking society to use a platform where the youth can be found.

"The CEO chat gave the young people an opportunity to seek knowledge on investments and banking solutions for their businesses, something which could only be done either by visiting the bank or accessing the rather inactive websites," he said.

"Interacting one-on-one with a consumer is very important and this CEO chat made people feel as though they were sitting in the same room with the CEO. I do hope other organisations and institutions can learn from this and save time and resources and look for other modern ways of informing the public on their products and services," he added.

During the CEO chat sessions, the public gets the opportunity to be part of the conversation through comments and questions responded to by the relevant CEO hosts.

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