Kenya’s Commercial Bank of Africa eyes Rwanda

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Competition amongst licensed commercial banks in Rwanda is expected to move a notch higher with the entry of another Kenyan banking brand,Commercial Bank of Africa.

Another top Kenya bank has declared its intentions of gaining entry into Rwanda’s banking sector. The announcement by Kenya’s Commercial Bank of Africa one of Kenyan top ten lenders, that it intends to enter Rwanda could be interpreted to mean that a new phase of competition is unfolding in the local banking sector.

Sources within the National Bank of Rwanda intimated to Rwanda Eye that the bank is likely to start operations in 2017.

Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd (CBA) is the largest privately owned bank in East Africa and has been operating for over 50 years. CBA was founded in Tanzania and branches were set up in Kenya and Uganda shortly thereafter.

CBA has since developed a reputation as the go-to provider for large corporations, institutions, diplomatic missions, NGOs and high net-worth private clients.

However in 2011, CBA began a drive towards innovation in the banking space, pushing its product team to pioneer new developments that cater to a wider local audience.

To date CBA has been first to market with full digital banking channels, first with M-Pesa and M-shwari products, the first US dollar credit card in Kenya, the first 105% mortgage offering and the first foreign currency based mortgage provider.

As a world-class financial services provider, CBA offers clients a vast range of products and services that are both tailored to local needs and inspired by global innovation.

Analysts are quick to point out that leading Kenyan banks have taken advantage of regional integration to strategically fan out into the East African Community.

This comes after the entry of KCB and Equity Bank from Kenya is  seen as having contributed towards heightening competition in Rwanda’s banking sector that has  witnessed falling  margins while service provisions has  improved steadily.

By eyeing Rwanda, CBA seems to have accepted the fact that Rwanda’s banking sector offers a perfect opportunity for its expansion agenda.




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