July 18, 2024

Equity Group’s Soaring Foreign Exchange Income: A Deep Dive


Equity Group Holdings’ financial report for 2023 underscores a compelling narrative of robust growth, with a striking 56.3% surge in foreign exchange income.

This remarkable increase, from Ksh 8.9 billion in Q3 2022 to Ksh 13.9 billion in Q3 2023, solidifies Equity Group’s position as a standout performer in the banking sector. 

An integral factor contributing to this success was the substantial 36.9% growth in non-funded income (NFI), reaching Ksh 57.8 billion.

Of particular note is the exceptional 56.3% rise in foreign exchange trading income, underscoring the bank’s strategic emphasis on trade finance in support of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The driving force behind Equity’s outstanding growth is evident in the impressive 24% surge in foreign remittances, soaring from Ksh 248.7 billion in September 2022 to Ksh 309.1 billion in September 2023.

This surge is intricately linked to the substantial 56% increase in foreign exchange income during the same period. 

Major remittance inflows were traced back to regions such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States, emphasizing the global impact of Equity Group’s operations.

Equity’s performance is notably distinct when compared to industry counterparts. While Absa Bank Kenya faced a 2.3% decline in foreign exchange trading income in Q3 2023, signaling potential challenges in maintaining foreign exchange margins, Equity’s growth remained robust. 

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) observed a commendable 52.1% surge in foreign exchange trading income in Q1 2023 but faced a subsequent 2.4% decline in Q3 2023, highlighting the complexities of sustaining foreign exchange margins.

Co-op Bank experienced a 25% reduction in foreign exchange trading income in Q3 2023, further accentuating Equity Group’s resilience in comparison.

Celebrating these successes, Equity Group anticipates potential challenges in 2024. Geopolitical tensions, inflationary pressures, economic uncertainty, supply-side challenges, and increased competition for digital advertising are identified as potential obstacles.

Adapting to changing global dynamics and strategic management will be pivotal in overcoming these hurdles.

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In anticipation of challenges, Equity Group strategically positions itself. The commitment to sustainability is evident through the Equity Group Foundation’s ambitious plan to plant 35 million trees by 2024, aligning with broader environmental goals. 

The bank also maintains strong capital and liquidity buffers, providing a robust defense against challenging macroeconomic conditions.

This commitment to sustainability aligns with industry trends where climate change mitigation and renewable energy investments are becoming crucial investment criteria.

Looking ahead to 2024, Equity Group’s merger with Bank of Kirksville, fixed deposit rates aligning with the Central Bank of Kenya’s rate, and the Equity Group Foundation’s mission to impact 100 million Africans underscore the bank’s expansive vision.

The Wings to Fly scholarship program, which selected scholars for 2024, reinforces Equity’s commitment to education and community development.

Equity Bank is also prioritizing significant enhancements in customer services and technological advancements. The bank aims to elevate its customer care services, ensuring seamless interactions for clients.

The bank’s established dedicated equity bank customer care number, 0763 000 000, emphasizes its commitment to addressing customer queries and concerns promptly. 

Moreover, the bank is set to introduce new equity bank job opportunities, reflecting its growth trajectory and commitment to human resource development.

Technological strides are a cornerstone of Equity’s 2024 initiatives, with the equity bank paybill number 247247 facilitating convenient and efficient financial transactions for customers. 

The equity bank swift code, EQBLKENAXXX, signifies its global connectivity and commitment to providing swift international transactions.

The equity bank code, 68, remains a key identifier, streamlining various banking processes.