By Kamundia Muriithi.
Winas Savings And Credit Co-Operative Society Limited, formally Embu Teachers Sacco Limited is among Societies that weathered a difficult economic climate, to post impressive results.
The Society, with an asset base of Sh3.4 billion, recorded an increase in income to Sh 611 million in the year ended 31st December 2016 compared to Sh 483 million posted in the previous period. Its Loan Book grew by Sh 812 million, Total members’ Deposits by Sh 372 million, and Total Reserves by Sh 235 million; while membership increased to 14,000.
Consequently, the 40-year-old Sacco which is headquartered in Embu County declared interest on members’ deposits at the rate 12.5 per cent; which is an improvement from last year’s 12.2 per cent. The Sacco also declared dividends on share capital at the rate of 14 percent, an improvement from 13.6 percent in 2015. The Sacco members enjoy dividends and other payments the same day the rates are declared.
“The Sacco defied all the negative competitive forces to retain its well-known market share and position in 2016,” said Robert Njue, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Winas Sacco.
He made these remarks during the Winas Sacco Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on 18th February, 2017 at Urban Primary School in Embu Town. The meeting was attended by members who included teachers, business persons, micro-groups, investors, civil servants as well as employees of private institutions and companies.
Njue told members that the Society’s loan book, assets, institutional and share capital had increased significantly, a sign of bright prospects. He said the Sacco’s growth was anchored on application of technology- for instance; the Winas Chapaa mobile phone application that enables members to withdraw or deposit cash to and from their Sacco accounts. Already, over 5,000 members are served conveniently through this reliable mobile application.
Njue said that plans are underway to introduce WINAS Mashinani, which will ensure the Sacco has agents in all strategic places. This platform is set to go live in Makima, Gategi, Karaba, Siakago, Runyenjes, Kathwana in Chuka, Kithyoko, Kivaa and Matuu.
WINAS has also introduced ATMs so as to decongest the banking halls and is almost completing construction work on its new modern offices at Kiritiri town, off Thika-Matuu road.“The new offices will open a new chapter in improvement of customer service delivery and investment in infrastructure,” said Njue.
Winas has also formulated a new 5-year strategic plan that is aimed at accelerating its development agenda. The new plan envisages a modern and highly competitive organizational set up that will optimize the Society’s growth potential and increase returns to members.
Njue also revealed the Sacco’s investment subsidiary; Winas Investment Cooperative society is now operational.
“The new investment arm will expose members to the world of investments so that they can earn more and improve their economic status,” said Njue.
WINAS Sacco CEO David Kariuki said this investment subsidiary will focus on property or real estate. He said registration was ongoing and urged members to take advantage of this opportunity to grow their wealth.
Kariuki said that although capping of interest rates by commercial banks had affected Saccos, Winas was able to survive this turbulence.
“We lowered our rates even further to 1 per cent per month on reducing balance and this led to an increase in uptake of loans by members,” said Kariuki.
He added that the Society’s Marketing Department was vigorously recruiting new members mainly from secondary schools and other tertiary institutions, disclosing that some 3,111 new members were recruited last year. He disclosed that many secondary schools were paying their support staff salaries through winas Fosa.
Winas Sacco is a SASRA-licensed, modern and fast- growing financial institution in Kenya. Established in 1977 to serve teachers in the larger Embu district, the society rebranded in the year 2012 and diversified its membership to effectively tap the economic potential in all viable sectors in Kenya.
The Sacco is highly famed for its unrivalled financial ability that makes it easy for members to have their both short and long term loan products processed on request. This, the Ceo says, has been the practice for the last seven years and the same is expected to continue. Mr. Kariuki added that winas Sacco was performing better than some of the financial institutions around Embu and neighboring counties.