Judging on the somewhat flimsy premise of popularity alone, Bank of Kigali (BK) is far and away Rwanda’s biggest Bank. However, more concrete criteria exist to rightfully assign BK this title, as it remains the country’s biggest bank based on value of total assets.
While still lagging Banque Populaire du Rwanda in market share, BK continues a strong push to firmly establish itself as Rwanda’s leading banking institution, this Friday announcing pre-tax profits of Rwf 11.5 billion for the first nine months of this year, marking a 34% rise in this category compared to last year.
The aforementioned profits were driven mainly by higher Net Interest Income, which rose to 15.8 billion francs from 11.6 billion in the first nine months of 2011, according to a statement released by the bank.
The improved pre-tax figures have been precipitated by various innovations and an aggressive marketing campaign by the bank to attract more clientele, including diversifying into ‘stockbroking’ and venturing into mobile banking.
Bank of Kigali established a wholly-owned subsidiary to offer brokerage services and launched five mobile banking vans to reach more isolated customers in the far corners of the country.
BK CEO James Gatera also underscored that the bank has received approval to start ‘branchless’ agency banking and has already recruited 300 agents.
Total assets were up 14 percent to 311.6 billion francs, while gross loans were up by close to a third at 172 billion francs.
The bank also has plans to expand by opening limited banking facilities in Kenya this year and Uganda in the near future.