Kenya’s biggest Sacco saver has Sh100 million in their account according to the Nairobi County Director of Co-operatives Dolphin Aremo.
Alone this saver could qualify as a regulated Sacco under the new Sacco Society Regulatory Authority (Sasra) rule to police pooled funds that have accumulated more than Sh100 million from members.
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Ms Aremo was speaking at Sheria Sacco annual general meeting last week where he urged the members of the Sacco to strive and save more to build their asset base.
Sheria Sacco Chairman Judge Patrick Kiage urged his members to try and catch up with the country’s top saver.
Despite a difficult year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic Sheria Sacco members were still able to save more growing deposits by 11.4 per cent from Sh4.3 billion in 2019 to Sh4.8 billion.
This was no mean feat given total membership reduced by 105 members from 15,143 in 2019 to 15,038
This was a shrinkage of 0.69 per cent despite the fact that 591 new members being recruited in the year 2020, a higher number left the Sacco.
“This shrinkage is attributed to the financial challenges in the year that pushed members to recall their savings. However, 39 members who had left the Sacco re-joined in the year which is a token of hope and optimism,” Judge Patrick Kiage said.
He said if there is anything Kenyans have learned in 2020 is that situations can change unexpectedly, salary can fail and what one has saved is what would count.
He attributed the rise of saving at the sacco to encouragement given in a recorded talk to members in April 2020 where he urged members to save more of the Covid 19 a tax relief on salaried citizens given by the Government that they benefited from.
“The above trend indicates that members embraced the idea of savings. Now that the relief window has closed starting January 2021, it is advisable that members review their expenditure and become more prudent in management of the funds that are in their hands Judge Patrick Kiage said.
Sheria Sacco members who kept money at the Sacco were reward its members with 8.5 per cent interest on deposits to pay Sh363.5 million up from SSh332 million and a 16 per cent on their stake rising their payout to Sh59.5 million up from Sh54.7 million.
Sacco deposits are the lifeline of the cooperatives allowing them to offer more loans and build up their assets.
Over 2,286 savings and credit cooperative societies that have been allowed to operate without tight regulations are holding up to Sh117.50 billion of Kenyans deposits by December 2019.
The 174 deposit-taking SACCOs hold Sh380.4 billion deposit money as at the end of 2019.