Nairobi: Banking solutions provider, I&M Bank has secured a crucial deal to provide strategic services to German private sector companies who have established their operations in the East Africa region or plan to penetrate into this market.
Together with DEG – Deutsche Investitions – und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH) (the German Development Finance Institution) and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce I&M Bank will create a German Desk – Financial Support and Solutions providing specialist banking and financial advisory services for German businesses exporting to East Africa and/or, seeking to set up shop in the region. This is a first of its kind partnership between an African bank and DEG and is second worldwide after Peru.
Speaking when he confirmed the sealing of the strategic partnership, I&M Bank Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mr. Kihara Maina said the bank is moving to establish a dedicated German Desk – Financial Support and Solutions at some of its key branches in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kigali among other cities.
The new service, Kihara confirmed, will be manned by highly experienced banking Executives, proficient in the local and German banking regulations and language.
Based on its institutional capacity, Kihara added that the Bank will leverage on its geographical spread, branch network and customer base to provide a credible channel for exchange of German and/or Kenyan goods and services.
The German Desk will also serve as a one-stop shop in the provision of all banking services that include banking account, provision of short to medium facilities, trade finance and transaction banking services and other requisite financing needs of companies being engaged in German-Kenyan business activities.
“At I&M Bank, our clients from Germany will enjoy a seamless, home away from home banking and finance experience, ,” Kihara said, adding that, “We are proud to make continental banking history as the first Bank in Africa to host a fully-fledged German Desk as part of our commitment to improve banking services in this market.”
“I&M Bank is a long-term partner of DEG. Through this new cooperation German companies can get financial services from a single source and make direct use of the partners’ network on location,” said Christiane Laibach, member of DEG’s Management Board.
Ms. Maren Diale, Country Director of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce added, “We are delighted that with the German Desk the opportunities for financing for local companies are expended. This is crucial for fostering the further industrialization of the region. German technology will hopefully be thus easier to acquire for local companies – another great step forward in our bilateral business relations.”
In the local banking scene, institutional banking and sovereign nations banking desks are gaining popularity as key business drivers. Several local banks have established China Banking desks providing solutions to Chinese concerns operating in this market.
During the signing, Hon. Adan Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives noted the importance of the initiative and appreciated the effort put in to ease trade and increase investment both locally and abroad. “This expansion and growth of different sectors within our economy is welcomed. The first one of its kind in Kenya, we congratulate I&M Bank, DEG and AHK for achieving this milestone. It is our mission as a country together with our partners that we have a conducive environment where businesses innovate, create and establish business opportunities and create room for collaboration. With this initiative shortfalls will be filled and opportunities will be created. The process is just beginning. We will walk with you to ensure that you succeed in setting up the German Desk here in Kenya.”
Michael Derus, German Deputy Ambassador and Head of Economic Affairs, emphasized ”We welcome the launch of the German Desk in Kenya by DEG, I&M Bank in co-operation with AHK, the second of its kind globally, as a clear expression of the positive expectations for the further development of the Kenyan-German business relations.” He added “This innovative service puts a new set of tools at the disposal of the actors of bilateral trade and direct investment in Kenya and thereby opens up the chance to both the Kenyan and German business communities of making use of a broader range of chances and opportunities.”
With the new partnership, I&M Bank and DEG will consolidate their business partnership and also further enhance the already strong relationship between Kenya and Germany.
The German Desk will endeavor to create financing solutions for investments of Kenya and other surrounding countries private sector companies wishing to acquire German equipment and/or services or their export activities.