Sarah Serem takes over as Postbank board chairperson
Sarah Serem has been appointed as the new chairperson for the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank (Postbank). Serem, who takes over from Ntoros Baari Ole Senteu will serve in the capacity for a period of three years with effect from January 13, 2023.
Prior to her appointment, she served as the Kenyan Ambassador to China and the chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
“I look forward to working with the Bank’s leadership to meet our customers' and stakeholders' needs as well as advance the savings agenda of the country seeing as we are the institution mandated by the Government to mobilize national savings,” she said.
“Looking into the future, I see a great opportunity for Postbank. Kenya’s economy is responding positively to the economic shock following the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. This growth momentum continues to generate business opportunities for the financial sector which will benefit Postbank and other financial institutions,” she added.
On his part, Postbank Managing Director Mr Raphael Lekolool expressed confidence in Serem’s appointment.
“The Board and management of Postbank are confident in the appointment of Amb. Sarah Serem and we assure her of our full support. We are cognizant of the wealth of expertise that she brings on board and we are optimistic that under her leadership, we will advance our role of offering financial services to the people of Kenya,” Mr Lekolool noted.
Serem takes over at a time the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has warned that Postbank is technically insolvent due to low liquidity ratio at the firm.
Reports indicate the bank is not in a position to support itself unless the government assists it to manage fixed costs.
The declaration by the office of the Auditor General comes from the financial statement of the bank as at December 31, 2019, which shows that customers' savings and deposits of Ksh21.8 million exceed the total assets of the bank of Ksh14.5 million by Ksh7.3 million.
“The bank continued to record a negative shareholders equity of Ksh10,606,330,664 (2018 Ksh9,192,821,813). The bank’s dependency on the government to defray these losses is uncertain and the bank’s ability to continue as a going concern is doubtful,” reads the report released in November 2022.