We all have dreams to accomplish big things in life. We want to invest. We want to construct a home for our families. We want to buy a car. But, where is the money?
When Covid-19 came knocking, the whole world was caught off-guard. People’s finances were disrupted and savings started running out. Millions lost their jobs and millions of businesses, within and without Kenya shut down. There was pain everywhere.
In Kenya, it is estimated that at least 2 million people lost their jobs in the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Government institutions have long lost the count hence no reliable data on how many people have lost their jobs so far as a result.
The pandemic is now being said to have redefined the world and installed a new world order. It is obvious that the world will never be the same again. This is the new normal that all human beings, Kenyans included should adapt and move on.
As businesses in Kenya shut down en masse, and as people lost their jobs in large numbers, there was desperation and gasping for survival virtually from every quarter. The whole country was smelling of misery and hopelessness with people having no option.
To save their businesses and to have their kids stay in school, many Kenyans rushed to their banks in search of loans. But, banks were cautious and almost all of them had stopped giving loans for obvious reasons; with the situation, it was too risky.
But we have to give credit where it is due. Kenyan banks really came through for their customers who had taken loans. Some like the Co-operative Bank of Kenya restructured loans for their customers running into billions of shillings.
At the same time, Co-op Bank, in line with the directive from the Central Bank of Kenya, removed charges for customers depositing money on their accounts from their mobile wallets. This increased cash flow and financial inclusion.
The pandemic made many Kenyans realize the importance of having a good and reliable bank. A good bank should be one that listens to you and comes through for you when the times are hard. Have a bank that values you as their customer.
Now, as an individual or as a business, why do you need a good bank? And what defines a good bank? What are some of the features should you look for while hunting for a bank? What can you do to be in good books with your bank daily?
In this piece, I will use the Co0operative Bank of Kenya as a reference. This is because of the products and services that they offer that touches the real fabric of a Kenyan customer in terms of their financial needs. Hope it helps you make a decision.
Your bank should have an affordable and accessible personal loan
We all have dreams to accomplish big things in life. We want to invest. We want to construct a home for our families. We want to buy a car. We want to take care of our parents. But one thing always stands in the way and hinders our plans; inadequate funds.
A good bank should have products that suit you when it comes to giving out loans. They should not discriminate based on your income or the size of your business. While hunting for a bank, look at the loan products they have. It helps.
For Instance, anyone with a Co-op Salary Account stands a chance to get an immediate loan, that takes 24 hours or less to be approved of up to 500,000 shillings with no paperwork needed.
Your bank should have a sizeable unsecured loan
How much can you take from your bank as a loan unsecured? If your bank doesn’t have a limit of a loan you can take without being asked for security, then you have no business doing business with that bank. You need a bank that knows you.
While hunting for a bank that gives unsecured loans, I came across the Co-operative Bank. Others have too, but this one is a good one. For instance, if you have a Salary Account with Co-op Bank, you will have access to an unsecured loan of up to 4,000,000 shillings.
Here are some of the advantages of their Salary Account:
Your bank should help you save
Basically, your bank should help you grow. If your bank does not motivate you to save with them, then you have no business with them. In this category, look for the savings account with your bank and see the offerings under it. Go with one that comes with insurance.
Your bank should support your business
Not all of us run big businesses. In fact, we are all SMEs. If you are an SME, you need a bank that speaks your language. A bank that will help you. A bank that is ready to invest in you chama. It is not easy finding a bank that loves SMEs.
If you are a small-scale farmer, look for a bank that will be ready to invest in your one cow or your small piece of land, not because they want money but because they see the potential. Look for a bank that is a friend to farmers and stick with them.