Gulf African Bank improves lending processes with CreditQuest by Software Group
Gulf African Bank is Kenya’s premier Islamic bank that offers ethical and fair banking for all persons irrespective of their faith. The bank serves individuals and businesses, helping SMEs scale up their growth through financing and advisory services.
Being Sharia-compliant, Gulf African Bank provides various types of finance, including consumer finance, mortgage, trade finance, SME and corporate finance, etc, as well as some specific offerings to local SMEs such as Annisaa Biashara Financing and Safaricom Dealers Financing.
With financing being one of the main streams of profitability, the bank identified multiple challenges in its loan origination processes, which called for an end-to-end credit risk management and appraisal system:
High turnaround time (TAT) caused by the lengthy process of retrieval of the documents and transfer of files from branches to head office for appraisal; disorganisation in the filing system and high occupancy of the loan officers with manual tasks, causing delays in the review process.
Tracing of the sequencing of the decisions made was difficult and approval advises were sometimes delayed.
Manual monitoring and maintenance of covenants by checking for approval conditions from one file to another, and more.
Occasional errors due to manual work, i.e, in spreading of the financials or inaccurate reporting for approvals, decline and reworks.
In November 2019, Gulf African Bank commenced implementation of Software Group’s loan origination solution – CreditQuest – which streamlines the credit process end-to-end, and helps the bank manage credit and operational risk and grow a profitable loan portfolio.
The implementation was executed by SG Newtech, a subsidiary of Software Group, which helps financial institutions deploy the banking platform of the future. The project encountered numerous challenges due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Yet, the team managed to keep the project going, transitioning to a virtual project mode and successfully completing the project in June 2020 – entirely virtually.
Thanks to the introduction of CreditQuest, the bank has been able to achieve substantial results:Improved TAT
Reduced costs of stationery and courier costs, increasing the bank’s profitability.
Achieved higher productivity by improving strategic decision-making with targeted reporting and enhanced credit analysis
Minimised credit risk by automating the processes of application review and approval; minimised operational risk with traceability and paperless processes.
Simplified compliance monitoring and tracking through the capability of the CreditQuest system.
Enhanced financial analysis via the in-built models that reduce the risk of making errors in the computations and via simplification of related entities and groups.
Improved and effective portfolio management and freed-up capacity to take up more business without increasing staff costs.
"Our mission to provide innovative and competitive financial tools to our clients is in unison with Software Group’s drive for innovation and efficiency, embedded in their solutions. CreditQuest has helped us transform our finance processes end-to-end and offer our clients a more seamless experience, coupled with higher business results for the bank," said Washington Kathurima, Gulf African Bank’s Head of Credit. "SG NewTech’s implementation service was adaptable, professional and efficient, despite the COVID-19 challenges, ensuring fast time to market."