Equity Bank: The Real Thing?

How had a Kenyan bank catering to the poor expanded so quickly, and could the financial institution continue growing after a post-2007 slowdown?
David Beim, Murray Low  | Fall 2011
Print this page

The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics Case Series

It seemed almost too good to be true: over a six-year period, Kenya's Equity Bank had grown its assets more than twentyfold and reached 5.9 million customers from fewer than half a million. Behind the bank's growth was a charismatic chief executive, who had a mission to provide banking to poor clients. His strategy was supported by technology investments, allowing the bank to expand services such as mobile banking and ATMs. But growth had slowed after 2007, prompting questions about whether Equity Bank had hit a saturation point amid a tough competitive landscape. In this case students examine Equity Bank's financial statements, the Kenyan banking industry, and the bank's culture to examine the implications of this slowdown and how it might impact the bank's strategy going forward.

Case ID: 110308
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note

Buy select cases through Ivey Publishing and Harvard Business Publishing.

Contact us by e-mail at Columbia CaseWorks or 646-745-8495.