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Banking Research Conference opens with focus on post-pandemic recovery opportunities, risks

Financial researches convene to explore post-COVID economic recovery prospects

Kenya’s banking researchers kick started their 10th Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Annual Banking research in a three day event in Nairobi, to explore ways through which the banking industry could support economic recovery post-coronavirus pandemic disruption.

Research papers were presented at the conference and focused on examining ways in which the COVID19 pandemic has altered traditional risk assessment as well as bank balance sheet adjustments, triggered by heightened uncertainty as a result of the pandemic-led economic disruption.

While officiating the conference’s opening ceremony, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Deputy Governor Mrs. Sheila M’Mbijjewe said the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified opportunities and risks, noting that resilience would be important in navigating through the health crisis.

“Banks have been critical in bringing Kenya to its current state of stability,” said Mrs. M’Mbijjewe, adding that economic arguments should be answered through clear economic policies.

Kenya Bankers Association Governing Council Chairman Mr. John Gachora observed that the pandemic has extensively depressed the economy, noting that facilitating an understanding of the financial environment through research has become a necessity considering the dynamics of the Kenyan market and global disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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‘’These dynamics are seen to have a bearing at both the policy and operational fronts, and at the broader economic environment under which banks, just like other businesses, operate. It is in recognition of these dynamics that the banking industry, through the Kenya Bankers Association, has endeavoured to ground its understanding of the current and emerging developments through research,’’ he said.

On his part, the KBA Chief Executive Dr. Habil Olaka expressed optimism that the Kenyan banking industry’s resilience will play a critical role in supporting a strong and sustainable economic recovery in the year 2021.

’How the industry navigates the potential trade-offs of ensuring a stable system and supporting economic recovery is a tight balancing act, that would be informed partly by the focus of some of the papers lined up for presentation in this conference,’’

This year’s conference marks the 10th anniversary of the forum that brings together researchers, financial sector players, policymakers, and academia.

The discussions will further shed light on risks and risks assessment in the banking sector in the wake of COVID-19 and the effect of the pandemic on the sector’s asset portfolios and innovations.

The conference which is expected to end on September 24, 2021, will see other institutions like the KBA Centre for Research on Financial Markets and Policy, Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA), Strathmore University, Embu University, NCBA Bank and the CBK participate.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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