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CRDB Bank; Spearheading Tanzanian Finance with Innovation and Sustainability

Known as the largest bank in Tanzania, the Cooperative and Rural Development Bank Plc (CRDB) is a privately owned commercial bank publicly listed on the Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange.

Since its establishment in 1996, the Bank over the past years has relished significant financial and operational success emerging as a crucial partner in delivering financial services across the East African region.

CRDB Bank operates in two subsidiaries, namely CRDB Bank Burundi and CRDB Insurance Brokers Limited. The bank boasts a robust network, including around 254 branches, 558 ATMs, over 600 point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and a vast agent network exceeding 20,000.

Pioneering a commitment to offer financial services to individuals, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and corporations, CRDB Bank took the lead in introducing an innovative mobile banking solution called SimBanking. This groundbreaking service alongside its internet banking has significantly transformed the way customers engage with financial services.

With a diverse portfolio aligned to deliver excellent customer service, CRDB specializes in a range of banking services, comprising consumer banking, business banking, institutional banking, Islamic banking, bancassurance, and capital markets.

According to a report conducted by Statista in the half quarter of the year, CRDB Plc was identified as the largest commercial bank in Tanzania, with total assets reaching around 8.8 trillion Tanzanian shillings (TZS) approximately 3.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. This represents about 20 percent of the total bank assets in the country, as per the findings.

CRDB Bank has made notable strides in enhancing service delivery, with a particular focus on improving digital banking services. The issuance of the Kijani Bond, with a multi-currency Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme totalling USD 300 million, represents a significant advancement in the realization of Tanzania’s National Financial Sector Development Master Plan 2020/21 – 2029/30. The average Tanzanian can participate and benefit from this investment, requiring only a minimum initial investment of TZS 500,000. The Kijani Bond has attracted global investor interest, with entities like The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. This strategic initiative aims to empower both the public and private sectors, fostering overall societal well-being.

In a drive to foster development and promote economic inclusion, particularly for young people and women, CRDB Bank introduced the iMBEJU program designed to empower numerous young people and women, fostering business growth and economic self-sufficiency with an aim of contributing to the country through the payment of business taxes and the creation of employment opportunities.

Also, to enhance the utilization of digital channels, the bank introduced initiatives like the Chagua Tembocard Visa and Chanja, Lipa, Sepa promotions to increase card transaction volumes and values, while also raising awareness of the rapidly growing card market in Tanzania.

For the fourth consecutive year, CRDB Bank achieved a remarkable feat by being named Tanzania’s Best Bank, a distinction unmatched by other banks in the country. This recognition, bestowed by the New York-based financial publication Global Finance, highlights CRDB Bank’s consistent leadership and esteemed position within the financial sector.

The Bank Group CEO, Abdulmajid Nsekela, remains confident that these collective efforts have consistently strengthened the bank, leading to its robust performance. He expressed the recognition as a validation of the bank’s commitment to offering a distinctive customer experience, creating value for shareholders, and contributing to the transformation of the country’s financial sector.

CRDB Bank has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Tanzanian bank to be ranked among the top ten stable and safest African banks by Moody’s Investors Service, a globally respected rating agency. The bank received a “B1 stable outlook” rating, the highest attained by any bank or financial institution in Sub-Saharan Africa. CRDB Bank has also earned accreditation from the UN Green Climate Fund since November 2019, and Global Finance honoured it as the Best Bank in Tanzania for the year 2020.

In conclusion, the accomplishments of CRDB Bank have laid a strong foundation for greater achievements in the coming years. CRDB Bank is committed to upholding best practices to enhance their customers’ experience with its products and services, while extending its reach to a more diverse customer base, by ensuring affordability and accessibility to many.

By: Esther Adwoa Gyanwah Karikari/ Instinct Business Magazine

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