Co-operative Bank of Kenya launches import finance product small business

Enterprises can use the service to ensure a prompt payment of duty and other related costs

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya is offering a new Import Duty Finance product to serve micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

The new product is designed to give enterprises relying on imports a seamless process during the clearing and transportation of imported cargo, from port of origin to the final destination.

The bank says enterprises can use the service to ensure a prompt payment of duty and other related costs to ensure timely delivery and avoid high storage and demurrage charges.

Speaking at the launch, head of business banking Moses Gitau said the bank had engaged with MSMEs over the last two years to find out what kind of products and services they required. He added the bank was refining its offer to “target specific groups of MSMEs such as the import and export industry”.

The new product adds to a range of services already offered by the bank, including letters of credit; bid and tender bonds; performance guarantee bonds; invoice discounting; and local purchase order financing.

The bank also introduced supply chain financing, a product that allows suppliers to obtain prompt payment once they submit their invoices. The short-term credit provided optimises working capital for both buyers and sellers.

The bank says it will continue to explore other options for MSMEs with the aim of supporting them to grow into successful enterprises beyond Kenyan borders. It recently reported a profit before tax of KSHS 20.7bn (£0.17bn) for the year 2019, a 14% increase from the 18.2bn (£0.15bn) in 2018.