Access Bank Plc has started operations in Kenya following approvals to acquire 99.98 per cent of Transnational Bank.
The launch expands the lender’s reach in Africa.
In Kenya, the bank will operate 28 branches which include five retail outlets in Nairobi, four in Nakuru and three in Uasin Gishu County.
Speaking at the official launch of the bank’s local operations on Monday, Access Bank executive board termed its entry into the country as part of the lender’s long-term goal to extend its footprint in Africa.
“Our entry into Kenya is a recognition of Kenya’s importance and significance. We won’t be Africa’s gateway to the world without Kenya. East Africa is a talent with economic potential which Kenya is central to unlocking,” noted Access Bank operations executive director Ade Bajomo.
Further, the lender seeks to contribute to Kenya’s very own economic prospects as it trails its eyes on agriculture a niche for commercial lending.
“The objectives of our entry into Kenya are crystal clear as illustrated by our board. We have to strengthen the resilience of Kenya’s banking sector and reposition the country’s economy for growth,” said Access Bank Kenya Managing Director David Aluko.
Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) CEO Habil Olaka welcomed the bank’s entrant terming it as a strength for Kenya’s banking industry.
“The bank will contribute immensely to our collective long-term vision of reinforcing Kenya’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The entry comes at a time when the global banking industry is facing headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Access bank owned by business mogul Heibert Wigwe paid Sh.1.4 billion for the bank acquiring assets worth Sh.10.2 billion.
The bank has already set its eyes on regional expansion eyeing new branches in nine counties among them Nyandarua, Kisumu and Bungoma.
Before the launch of operations, a hacker had shared sensitive detail of Transnational online. Neither the bank not Central Bank of Kenya has ever commented on this episode,
The former Transnational Bank was owed by close associates of former President Daniel Moi including Joshua Kulei, George Saitoti and Simeon Nyachae.
Access’s entry is expected to stiffen the competition among local banks with local leaders Equity and KCB eyeing to become Pan-African banking giants, a fete already reached by the Nigerian lender.
Access Bank had an asset base of Sh.1.2 trillion as of the end of 2019. The lender has over 600 branches across 12 countries in three continents in addition to having 36 million customers and representatives offices in Lebanon, China and India.
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