Rebecca Mbithi: Top 25 CEOs setting the business agenda in 2021

Rebecca Mbithi was appointed in mid-2018 and immediately shook the banking industry with her sterling performance.


Rebecca Mbithi


To confirm her place as the Queen of the Banking industry, by growth in financials and customer numbers, Family Bank under Rebecca closed the 2019-2020 riding a wave:

• Family Bank has posted a 63.6 per cent increase in its profit before tax for the Group through the first six months of 2020 to Sh 852.1 million, up from Sh 520.9 million registered in a similar period of 2019.

• The growth is attributed to increase in net interest income hugely from loans and advances and income from government securities.

• The total operating income grew by 17.6 per cent to Sh 4.2 billion during this period compared to Sh 3.6 billion last year. Non-funded income slightly decreased by 1.4 per cent to Sh 1.3 billion.

• Family Bank saw an expansion of its balance sheet in the period as its loan book grew by 17.5 per cent to Sh 54.9 billion while customer deposits increased by 23.5 per cent to Sh 66.7 billion. Net interest income in the period rose by 28.5 per cent to Sh 2.9 billion from Sh 2.3 billion last year backed by lending and additional investments in government securities.

• Total assets grew by 19.7 per cent to Sh 86.9 billion compared to Sh 72.7 billion during the same period last year. Total operating expenses marginally rose by 9.8 per cent to Sh 3.4 billion, highlighting the cost containment measures being implemented by the Bank.

“The Bank’s impressive performance is a testament of the resilience of our business in light of our current tough operating environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, for our business outlook, we remain focused on driving a differentiated customer experience driven by a deeper understanding of our customers, automation and digitization of our processes, of which 80% of our transactions are on the digital platform anchored on simplicity and personalized service as we continue to cushion businesses, especially the MSMEs, through the emerging pressures,” adds Ms Mbithi.

During this pandemic, the Bank offered relief and extension of loans to customers at no extra cost in order to cushion our customers from the adverse effects of this pandemic.

Family Bank Ltd CEO Designate Rebecca Mbithi receives marathon permit from Athletics Kenya Chairman Gen J.K Tuwei (Rtd) and Athletics Kenya CEO Susan Kamau during the launch of Family Group Eldoret Half Marathon The Family Group Foundation

Family Bank has restructured loans worth Sh 15Billion and provisioned Sh.464M for bad debt due to Covid-19 during the first half of the year.  It has also waived all charges for balance inquiries and money transfers between account and mobile money wallets.

“We recognize that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in difficult operating environments. As a result, as part of our strategy to build a sustainable business, the Bank continues to work with the County Governments to assist vulnerable groups affected by the pandemic. So far, we have contributed in-kind support in the form of ICU beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment, face masks, foodstuffs, among others,” says the Family Bank CEO.

Rebecca was appointed in mid-2018 and immediately shook the banking industry with her sterling performance. For instance, hardly a year into the job, Family Bank registered an historic and mind-boggling growth in profitability of 300% in the first three quarters of 2019, reflecting a huge jump from similar period in 2018.

The bank’s notable growth in the period is attributed to aggressive deposit taking and on-lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that was against the weighted risk of a rate cap environment. Customer deposits grew by a substantive 26 percent to Ksh.60.2 billion as net loans and advances kept pace at 11 percent to grow to Ksh.49.3 billion.

“Our aggression in deposit taking was targeted at institutions, county governments, NGO’s, corporate and SME customers as we arrived at an optimum deposit mix,” CEO Rebecca Mbithi says in a corporate newsletter available on the bank’s website. In the same report, ‘Family Bank’s net interest income rose by 16.1 percent to Ksh.3.6 billion anchored on a flat Ksh.1.2 billion interest expense to depositing customers and a fall in other interest expenses.

Investments in digital continued to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet by weeding off costs to see operating expenses retained at a flat Ksh.4.7 billion from a similar period in 2018,’ the report adds. The CEO further states that, ‘Adoption of digital channels saw 70 per cent of transactions conducted online including requesting for loan advances. The enhanced efficiency has seen the lender improve on its asset quality in the slashing of its net non-performing loans portfolio by 15.5 percent to Ksh.4.6 billion.’

Rebecca began school with the dream of becoming a pilot but found her passion slowly gaining roots in law and finance. She is a highly experienced professional with an extensive background in leadership in various organizations at director level specializing in law, project finance, corporate restructuring, equity/ debt raising and governance.

A seasoned professional, Rebecca holds a Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Management from United States International University-Africa and an LL. B degree from the University of Nairobi. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), a Certified Secretary and a Member of the Institute of Certified Secretaries, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a member of the Law Society of Kenya.

Prior to taking over the steering role at Family Bank, Rebecca was the Company Secretary and Director, Legal Services – a position she held for four years. That put her in the steering role where she was instrumental in strategy and business development, capital and debt raising, risk management, compliance and controls, providing legal services and strengthening the bank’s governance structures.

“I have been part of the transformation journey for the bank having been part of the Family Bank’s senior management team for four years. Taking over as the CEO has given me the opportunity to steer the ship with formidable strategies that have put us back to profitability and we continue on an upward trajectory. I am privileged to be heading a team that comprises of focused staff whose resolve is to put the customer first while providing innovative products and services that meet their needs,” says Rebecca Mbithi.

Going into 2021, Rebecca’s most important tool is the Bank’s 2020-2024 Strategic plan, dubbed ‘take-off’ that is aligned to 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). She will be scanning this strategic plan and aligning the same, to ensure that Family Bank provides loans and avails credit lines to meet the country’s focus on the Agenda 4 pillars.


  • MSMEs Champion
  • Business Process Re-Engineering
  • Customer Centric Management
  • Innovative Financial Products
  • Corporate Culture Re-Engineering
  • Industry Leadership
  • People Management


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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