Depressing Banking

Banking can be depressing sometimes. People come to you with their dreams and business plans. They may look promising initially, but after going through the numbers, you have to tell them there’s no way it’s going to work.

Entrepreneurs have such strong beliefs in their proposals;

They run around from bank to bank, each time rehearsing how to improve their funding request, and remembering what tripped them up at the last bank. But approaching each new bank, means a fresh start, explaining your dream again, what you have done, what it entails, and why it requires a small bit of funding to push it over the top.

But just because a bank has a product for group lending, “women entrepreneurs”, “youthful entrepreneurs”, “SME’s”, doctors or pilots, does not mean that you automatically qualify, just because you are the subject of a colouful brochure.

Some desperate entrepreneurs even throw in their house, ancestral farm, in as security to secure a loan, they also go to church/temple/mosque over the weekend, and run around looking for sweeteners to entice the bank, but the decision is made in a cold boardroom on Thursday or Friday that – you are not economically viable.

It’s depressing to be a banker sometimes.

Elections & banking
Because it is not known how badly the political violence will go on and what effect it has had, there’s an unofficial policy go slow on new lending as banks watch the existing loans for signs of trouble.

Banks have to think safety first, as it’s not their money – it belongs to shareholders or depositors, and whatever is given out must be paid back and preferably without having to go to court.

The post-election mess needs to be sorted out, and not just for this month. Dr. Condi Rice has arrived and said that since the election did not ‘produce a presidential result’ it has to come from negotiations.

But we can’t have a repeat of these events in 2012, 2017 or when we next hold presidential elections. We can’t keep inviting and dis-inviting mediators. Otherwise banks will not give loans or will have their loans ending in November 2012 or November 2017 – so that their exposure is minimized come election time.

News briefs
Stockbrokers Dog ate my homework excuse: Your stockbroker sold your shares and pocketed the money because he was broke. But that doesn’t mean he should go to jail, nor can you find out if he did it, how much he has stolen or and how long he has been doing it until the firm collapses!
– The fabulous Tinapa, advertised heavily on DSTV, may turn out to be a White Elephant
Two KQ directors resign: If true, these KLM appointees replacements should be announced shortly
Uchumi claim they are profitable and will soon publish their financial results. At least they have a better (though somewhat stale) website – than many super-profitable local companies who fail to do any updates after their site-launches.
– Diamond Trust Bank has petitioned to have new MP Kipkalya Kones declared bankrupt – which can eventually cause him to lose his parliamentary seat
– New mag: Kenya Weeklya revival of the Weekly Review – out this week at 100/= each from Oakland Media – not NMG. Magazines in Kenya have a very short half-life though.
– New university – the Pan-African Christian University (Kasarani)
– Mumias Sugar is looking for companies to transport sugar from Western Kenya. Good luck finding someone willing to risk a lorry on some of those routes.

Bank developments
– The IFC giving loans to profitable, registered SME companies – ranging from 3.5 million to 35 million shillings.
Group accounts: Both K-Rep (Ungana) and Standard Chartered (Diva chamma) have new accounts targeted at women’s savings groups (chamas)
new branches: KCB has new branches in Buru Buru, Garsen, Kisumu West, Isiolo as Barclays bank has a new one at the main Nairobi University campus.

most from the daily papers
– BPO call centre training at KCCT: it takes 8 weeks and costs 40,000 shillings.

– HR manager at Finlay’s.apply to by 29/2
G4S; finance managers (3). Apply to by 27/2
Tax senior at HLB Ashvir. Apply through
– IFAD regional economist. d/l is 8/3
– Regional grants manager at the international federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent societies
KCB; Head of SME business, audit manager: group business, support & controls. Apply to by 22/2
Renaissance Capital: Associate, VP and Director positions
Standard newspaper: part-time professional contributors by 27/2. Also writers and photo journalists
Telkom Kenya; manager – financial accounting, manager – financial reporting, manager – credit control & revenue accounting, manager – financial systems; apply through pricewaterhousecoopers at by 29/2

4 thoughts on “Depressing Banking

  1. Nakeel

    I so feel you on the magazines in Kenya but I feel NMG have lost direction with the competition. They wake up and decide we are publishing this.
    You are tagged.

  2. bankelele

    Nakeel: as SR’s godfather, may i be excused from spilling my 6 bits? NMG/24 have launched mtro, BDaily, Twende, relaunched Drum and now kenya Weekly. Hope they break even

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