Known for its tradition of building relationships with a cross-section of society, Chase Bank made a strategic move to extend its financial services to the health sector seven years ago.
The decision to offer loans to the health sector was prompted by the need to offer affordable health care, which is affected by underfunding of the sector.
The massive investment that the bank has made in the health sector was not just informed by the need to offer loans but also to contribute to the growth of the health sector.
“Health is a key pillar in Kenya’s Vision 2030 development blueprint. As a bank we felt it was natural to go into the health space and play a role in the social development of the country,” says Chase Bank General Manager Parmain ole Narikae.`
Chase Bank was the first commercial bank to extend financial assistance to the sector, which receives funding mainly from the government, donors, private equity and religious organisations. Commercial banks have been avoiding the sector since it is perceived as high risk.
Some of the products the bank has designed for the medical sector are the Afya Current Account that allows health professionals and institutions to carry out their banking in a convenient and user-friendly manner and Afya Finance, which offers players in the sector channels for equipment financing, hire purchase and office space financing.
For Chase Bank, deciding to offer financial solutions to the medical sector has paid off. Currently, the bank’s loan book to the sector stands at Sh2.5 billion and it commands a three per cent market share. The bank has set a target to raise the loan book to at least Sh10 billion over the next three years and grow its market share to at least 10 per cent.