An open letter to Mr. Rama Isibo

Dear Rama,I read your commentary in The New Times of Friday July 10, 2009. Are you sure of what you are talking about regarding banking?

Dear Rama,
I read your commentary in The New Times of Friday July 10, 2009. Are you sure of what you are talking about regarding banking?

Do you think any local Rwandan bank can compete favourably in Kenya especially given the fact that they cannot favourably compete back at home here in Rwanda? If local banks cannot offer true banking services in Rwanda what makes you think that they will offer new services in another market that they cannot offer back at home?

Put it another way you seriously think that BK,BCR or BP can export banking expertise to the EAC? Do you know the balance sheets of these local banks in say US dollars vis-à-vis other banking giants in Kenya? Do you think that they can be issued with banking licenses in Kenya?

Even after being given licenses in the spirit of the EAC how do you think they will mount sustainable operations in a highly competitive environment that is the Kenyan banking industry. How well do you understand Kenyan banking industry dynamics?

How will they grapple with HR constrains that they suffer from which is quite obvious? Banking my friend is serious business.

It is so much unlike in Rwanda. The other day I was shocked to find that someone who worked at RIEPA as a guy who used to file those investors activities is now a top banker at BCR. Do you think that such a bank can compete in Kenya where banking is very serious business?

This guy who is now a ‘top banker’ in the country do you think that he can practise banking competitively in Kenya as a top banker in Rwanda? Are you aware of BCR goofs on its mortgage business?

I can go on till tomorrow but I won’t. The issue of EAC is not a ‘tit for tat’ thing my friend. It is about comparative advantages. Rwanda’s banking brands DO NOT have the comparative advantages of spreading their wings.

They are very weak entities as they are not used to operate in competitive environments. It is the very first time they have to operate in such an environment.To use your words non of those banks i.e BCR,BK or worse still BP have the killer instincts you are talking about.

Regards

ojiwah@gmail.com>

Ends

 

 

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