MD/CEO, FAMILY BANK
Rebecca Mbithi, a corporate lawyer-turned banker took the helm at Family bank in an acting capacity in mid-2018, before her substantive appointment by the board on February 26, 2019. She immediately shook the banking industry with a stellar performance. For instance, hardly a year into the job, Family Bank registered an historic and mind-boggling growth in profitability then, a whopping 300% in the first three quarters of 2019, reflecting a huge jump from similar period in 2018.
Rebecca’s previous strong background in the management of legal affairs in two other large organisations, including ensuring compliance with regulatory, financing and environmental requirements, managing litigation and contract administration, all hosted her firmly onto the CEO’s seat at Family Bank.
The bank immediately started on a growth trajectory, thanks to aggressive deposit taking and on-lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) strategy that Ms Mbithi harnessed. For a start, customer deposits grew by a substantive 26 %, with net loans and advances keeping pace at 11 %.
Today, only a few years down the line, customer deposits have reached a staggering KES 69.8 Bn, according to the Integrated Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2021. Family Bank increased earnings hit the KES 3.3 B profit before tax, representing a 132% increase. The growth in earnings was largely driven by an increase in interest income, marginal growth in interest expenses and operating expenses, coupled with a reduction in the loan loss provisions.
The group’s total assets grew by 23 % to close at KES 111.7 b, fired up by net loans and advances which expanded by 18.2% to KES 66.9 B while investment in government securities increased by 45% to KES 24.7 B on account of improved liquidity. In the same period, customer deposits increased by 17% to KES 81.9 B.
The Group’s operating expenses decreased by 2.8% to KES 7.5 B, mainly driven by prudent management under Ms Mbithi. Under her belt, Family Bank boasts of over 1.7 million customers, with a growing balance sheet and deposit base.
According to Rebecca, Family Bank continues to provide innovative products and superior customer experience which has witnessed Family Bank customers recognize the bank as the best bank in customer responsiveness and digital experience in 2022, according to the 2022 Kenya Bankers Awards.
“Our aggression in deposit taking has been targeted at institutions, county governments, NGO’s, corporate and our main client base, the MSME customers, as we arrive at an optimum deposit mix,” CEO Rebecca Mbithi says.
Investments in innovation and digitization continue to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet by weeding off costs. Rebecca states that the adoption of digital channels has seen more than 70 % of pivotal transactions conducted online including requesting for loan advances, through the mobile application, PesaPap and other digital payment platforms including internet banking. She adds that, ‘As a business, Family Bank continue to drive its strategy pegged on innovative channels and solutions that ease access to finance and capital that is critical in driving the growth of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses, fueling personal growth and that of the public sector’.
Rebecca Mbithi adds that the success of Family Bank is facilitated through the over 1,000 of human resource, 95% of whom are below 40 years of age. The CEO takes pride in hiring experienced individuals with unmatched capabilities and further trains and develops them to enable Family Bank meet the customers’ needs and fulfilment.
Rebecca Mbithi’s key reasons behind the success of Family Bank is the institutions focus on diversification and onboarding of new engagements with strategic partners, growth of the customer base, confidence rebuilding and brand drive which has culminated into the rollout of the bank’s brand campaign in 2020, dubbed ‘Fuzu na Family’.
Rebecca Mbithi holds an MBA degree with a concentration in strategic management from the USIU-A and an LL. B degree from the University of Nairobi (UoN). She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, 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. In addition, Rebecca Mbithi is a Certified Executive Coach.
Ms Mbithi is a health fanatic, who has ran marathons in a number of cities in the world.