KCB set to open this month with a planned investment of $15m

The bank is targeting two branches within Kigali before the year ends and a total of eight branches across the country in six months. Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Kenya’s largest bank by market share, is set to start operations in Kigali with investments worth between $10m (Rwf5.5 b) and $15m (Rwf8.3b).
A KCB Branch  in Nairobi, Kenya. (Courtesy photo).
A KCB Branch in Nairobi, Kenya. (Courtesy photo).

The bank is targeting two branches within Kigali before the year ends and a total of eight branches across the country in six months.

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Kenya’s largest bank by market share, is set to start operations in Kigali with investments worth between $10m (Rwf5.5 b) and $15m (Rwf8.3b).

About two months ago KCB was licensed to operate in Rwanda after paying Rfw5b minimum capital as required by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) for a commercial bank to operate.

Since then, KCB allocated $1m (Rwf553.8m) for refurbishing the Kigali branch which is expected to be open for business by the third week of November, according to Martin Oduor-Otieno, the Group Chief Executive Officer.

Odour estimates KCB investment in Rwanda will increase to around $15 m (Rwf8.3b) in a short term.

The bank is targeting two branches within Kigali before the year ends and a total of eight branches across the country in six months.

“We will subsequently be rolling out our branch network across other parts of the country,” Odour said.

KCB’s entry into the Rwandan market means that competition in the banking industry will sharpen and this is likely to strengthen the sector as well as give private investors better and more funding alternatives.

“We do have products right from retail or personal banking sector, where we take deposits, savings, current accounts and give loans to customers. We also operate in the corporate sector where we give a whole range of financing including trade finance products,” Odour said.

“We are also strong in mortgages and I would highlight that mortgage financing is one of the areas with our key strength, we are also strong in the card business”.

This means competition to Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR) and Rwanda Housing Bank, the only two institutions in Rwanda with mortgage portfolios.

According to Odour, one of their key attractions is their large branch network which helps to facilitate trade and investment across the region.

“We do run a centrallised platform and therefore sitting where you can see your account in any of the country we operate in and that is a key attraction for us,” he said.

“We have already recruited about ten Rwandan staff that will help us open this bank,” Odour said.

In Uganda, KCB started operations last year and Odour said that so far they have 165 employees of which 160 are Ugandan citizens.

“I would say that you will see significant job opportunities for Rwandese staff. We do believe that we must be part of the communities in which we operate,” he said.

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