The 11th Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Annual Banking Research Conference opened today, featuring presentations that focused on understanding opportunities and risks emanating from technological and financial innovations and sustainability.
Running under the theme ‘’Banking Industry Dynamics on the Back of Technological and Financial Innovations, and sustainability – Emerging Risks and Opportunities’’, conference papers assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its containment on banks’ credit portfolio composition and adjustments, drawing implications for the evolution of credit and thus economic performance.
Speaking during the convention Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Dr Julius Muia noted that the focus aligns well with key emerging developments in the financial services sector, from both the local and global perspectives.
‘’As you are aware, Kenya’s long-term development blueprint – the Vision 2030 – is anchored on three pillars – Economic, Social, and Political pillars. In the Economic pillar, the vision of the Financial Services Sector is to create a vibrant and globally competitive sector that will create jobs and promote high levels of savings to finance Kenya’s overall investment needs,’’ said Dr Muia.
Other papers lined up for the three-day forum will examine the implications of emerging digital financial services and innovations on the banking sector performance, specifically on deposit mobilization, credit portfolio allocations, risk management, profitability, and financial inclusion.
They will also interrogate the status and trends in the uptake of green finance and sustainable finance and examine their implications for banking sector stability and profitability; comparing the impact of conventional/brown finance and green/sustainable finance on economic activity, as well as ascertain the possibilities of reaching an optimal mix of the two types of finance in the transition period.
During the conference’s opening session, KBA CEO Dr Habil Olaka highlighted the banking industry’s commitment to engage with stakeholders and anchor the banking sector’s development on evidence from research and analytics.
‘’As we hold our 11th annual research conference, I take this opportunity to specifically acknowledge our dedicated researchers, reviewers, and discussants for your invaluable input in keeping the engagements alive and research driven by evidence as you generate insightful contributions to the various thematic areas,’’ Dr Olaka said.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Kenya Country Representative & Regional Head, Land Systems Mr Charles Karangwa observed that IUCN recognizes the key role research and science play in informing policy development. ‘’We are pleased to partner with Kenya Bankers Association in this conference that seeks to provide a platform to reflect on the environmental, social and governance progress that banks have made over the past 10 years,’’ he noted.
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