Siinqee Bank has made its official debut in the banking industry with a capital base that puts it on a footing with veterans. The Bank's executives celebrated the entry during a launch ceremony last week that saw the attendance of Shimelis Abdissa, head of the Oromia regional administration, and Yinager Dessie (PhD), governor of the central bank. Formally known as Oromia Credit & Saving S.C., Siinqee is among the first microfinance institutions (MFIs) to obtain a banking license after the central bank allowed MFIs to evolve into full-fledged banks last year. Other large MFIs are following suit. Founding President Neway Megerssa leads Siinqee into the industry with seven billion Birr in paid-up capital and 250 branches. The equity means Siinqee joins the ranks of first-generation banks operating for three decades. The Bank has also surpassed the five billion Birr minimum threshold set by Governor Yinager and his deputies last year. The central bank compels MFIs that transition into commercial banks to continue serving underbanked rural communities and low-income households. However, regulators do not specify the resource ratio needed to be dedicated to the activities.
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