The Commercial Bank of Africa, a Kenyan owned financial institute is planning to enter Rwanda’s banking sector.
The mid-sized bank’s Managing Director, Isaac Awuondo is reported to have said that the bank plans to establish operations in three more East Africa Community Member countries including Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, after existence in Kenya and Tanzania.
“We intend to have our presence in these countries in order to ensure that our services are available and accessible to the business community as EAC integration efforts get underway,” he was quoted in the Business Daily, a Kenyan publication.
“By establishing ourselves in these markets, we will reduce the cost of doing business through ease of access to banking services for our customers,” Awuondo added according to media reports.
CBA focuses on the middle market segment as its comparative advantage. Its entry into the Rwandan market will bring the total number of Kenyan financial institutes present in the country to three, with Equity bank also showing interest.
The other Kenyan banks present in Rwanda’s banking sector include Fina Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank. They are part of the pool of eight commercial banks.
Owing to the growing competition, the country’s banking sector has continuously progressed during the past few years.
A Continental financial institution, Global Trust Bank is expressed interest in expand into the Rwanda and Burundi markets. GTB is owned by the Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc of Nigeria and the National Insurance Corporation of Uganda (NIC).
According to the Central Bank, the current growth of the country’s financial sector has recapitalised, improved business processes and introduced new products for the benefit of customers.
This has prompted the policy reforms that encourage competition and improve access to financial services.
A survey by South African experts released in August last year said that only 14 percent of Rwandans above 18 years are using banks.
“Although most financial institutions being concentrated in Kigali City, only 21 percent of the city dwellers use the banking system,” the study reads.