Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR), on February 27, officially opened two brand new branches in Kigali, continuing in its campaign of modernizing and revamping the bank’s image.One new branch is in Nyarugenge district, inside MIC Building, a merger of the Rubangura and Muhima branches, and the other in Gasabo district, inside Kigali Business Centre (KBC), a relocation of the Kacyiru branch.
This comes a week after BPR announced a reduction of its lending rates, a move that was welcomed by its clients.The two newly opened branches were inaugurated by the Board of Directors of BPR represented by Beatrice Hamza Bassey, the Managing Director, BPR’s Executive Committee members, shareholders representatives as well as clients.
While presiding over the launch, the bank’s Managing Director, Maurice Toroitich, said this was part of the bank’s long journey to modernize and rationalize by revamping the image of BPR.“We want to create a more convenient and modernized image that will offer our customers a friendly environment that is awesome in return for their loyalty. As many of you have observed after the tour, we went an extra mile to beautify and brand with precision to make these branches not only the best in Rwanda, but also in the region,” said Toroitich.
He added that BPR is the largest banking network in Rwanda with over 193 branches and 105 ATM locations country wide. “The journey for us is not about opening new branches. What we are doing is modernizing, revamping and giving a touch of class to the already existing branches. However, in some instances we shall build new branches in certain places where we believe that our existing branch is not conveniently serving our customers,” Toroitich added.
Our bank’s relocation is to mainly offer our services in a convenient and inviting environment,” said Beatrice Hamza Bassey, representing the Board Chairman and Atlas Mara Group’s General Counsel, after cutting the ribbon at the opening of KBC branch.“There are numerous reasons why we chose to relocate this bank from where it was but the main reason was the strategic location here at KBC. Here there is good business traffic plus the name and the premises have a historical touch, not forgetting the accessibility it has for our clients,” explained Bassy.
All through the launch while wines and soft drinks plus eats were served, customers were free to open accounts and transact their business with the bank’s staff waiting patiently to receive them. “I have been a client of BPR for many years and I personally remember my journey with BPR. It has been a journey of transformation both for me as a client and BPR as my banker. I have amassed some wealth along the way and I have watched as the bank transformed and rebranded into the largest banking network in the country,” said Pascal Gatare, a client who attended the launch.
The origins of the bank can be traced back to 1975, when the first Banque Populaire du Rwanda was formed in the settlement of Nkamba, in the city of Kibungo, Eastern Province. In June 2008, Rabobank, the Dutch cooperative banking conglomerate, acquired 35 percent of the shares in BPR.In January 2016, Atlas Mara completed its acquisition of a controlling stake of BPR after acquiring shares from existing shareholders and merging the bank with the commercial banking business that was spun off the Development Bank of Rwanda.