August 26, 2022 - 5 minutes read

Top banks’ performance in Kenya Banking Sentiment Index, 2022, and areas to improve

By Susan Njeri

Deloitte delivered the Kenya Banking Sentiment Index report indicating that M-Pesa had more positive appreciation  from clients than conventional banks as confirmed in the Net Sentiment Index. It partnered with DataEQ to monitor over 330,000 Twitter posts that mentioned Co-operative Bank, Equity Bank, Absa, Stanbic, Diamond Trust Bank, NCBA and KCB between 1st January and 31st December, 2021. The positive mentions were 13.8% while the negative conversations hit 21.4%, and 64.8% of the conversations were neutral in sentiment.

BankOverall Net Sentiment Score %Net Sentiment performance influenceOperational sentiment %Reputational sentiment%
Absa12.7%Reputational efforts e.g Corporate Social Investments initiatives

Adoption of new technology
-16.2%14.5%
Co-operative2.6%Affordability

Discounts in partnership        

Student prepaid card products
-47.3%21.2%
Diamond Trust Bank    –Competitive pricing model -32.8%5.6%
KCB  –-49.9%4.3%
EquityLowest net sentiment -58.8%5.7%
NCBA      –-45.3%1.6%
Stanbic  –-55.3%11.9%

The report noted that despite the bank’s decreasing performance, KCB bank recuperated over the later half of 2021 while Absa led in performance by receiving positive scores quarterly. Further, it was observed that there was positivity in regard to reputational conversations while there was a negative perception in regard to operational engagements relating to customers experiences, taking -50.3%.

 The Report was structured under the following insights;

  1. Poor digital experience – Influenced by slow speeds or unresponsiveness and App failure. Mobile banking and call centers were negatively perceived and therefore registered the lowest Net Sentiment. The community is now more digitally invested and prefers digital interactions; however, the report notes that system downtime and a poor level of responsiveness to customers shown by the banks on social media have largely influenced negative conversations. The report showed that Absa had minimal negative mentions on app failure followed by Diamond Trust Bank, NCBA, Standbic, Co-operative bank, KCB then Equity bank in that order.
  2. Customer service – key contributor to the negative conversations majorly on slow feedback, long call wait times and failure to respond to customers’ questions on social media especially on Twitter, thus frustrating them.  It was observed that Stanbic, Equity Bank and Co-operative Bank received a number of complaints relating to slow turnaround time. Equity bank was ranked as the best performing in responding to 80% of the queries, KCB performed moderately above the average by exceeding half of their priority mentions in response while Absa was the worst performing with a response rate of 14%.
  3. Loan offers and product affordability – customers analyzed banks with high interest rates for mortgage loans. Diamond Trust Bank and Co-operative Bank scored very positively, however, the other banks had very negative complaints. KCB bank had the lowest pricing Net Sentiment score at -40.1%.
  4.  Reputational and regulatory matters – Most of the bank’s achievements are as a result of CSI initiatives, education while negative impressions were noted on fair treatment, corporate governance and ecology.
  5. M-Pesa is perceived more positively than traditional banks in Kenya – Perception of M-Pesa is less strained than traditional banks however Safaricom’s policies on reversing transactions, increase on transactional fee had a wide range of negative impressions.

 The report concluded by recommending that Banks should:

  1. Improve their social customer service by enhancing their customer-centric strategies.
  2. Improve the overall customer’s experiences.
  3. Mitigate the issue of multiple system failures to afford their customers smooth transactions.
  4. Be keen and prioritize social media mentions and actively be involved online since most of their customers have resolved to engage with their banks through digital channels.5)      Influence positive brand conversation and handle reputational concerns.
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