Equity Bank made history on Wednesday, December 23 as it became the first bank in East and Central Africa to cross the $10 billion (Ksh1 trillion) asset base mark.
The milestone was achieved following successful migration of BCDC to Equity’s Finacle core banking platform, and makes Equity Kenya’s largest bank by assets.
Equity acquired a majority stake in Banque Commercial Du Congo (BCDC) in August for $95 million (Ksh10.2 billion) as part of a Pan-African expansion drive.
The bank has long held a goal of becoming the region’s first bank with a Ksh1 trillion balance sheet, as revealed previously on multiple occasions by CEO James Mwangi.
Q3 results released by Equity on November 12 had seen the group’s balance sheet expand 38 per cent from Ksh6771.1 billion to hit Ksh934 billion as of September 30, 2020.
The milestone is in line with Equity’s plan to compete with behemoth financial institutions based in West Africa, Southern Africa and North Africa.
Analysts hailed the achievement as a win not just for Equity but for Kenya and East Africa’s financial sectors as they will receive greater visibility.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is likely to become the second Kenyan bank to hit the milestone, with Business Today having previously reported on the race between local rivals to reach the mark.
Q3 results published by KCB on November 11 showed a 27% growth in total assets expanding its balance sheet to Ksh972 billion.
It is likely to hit the mark within the next six months following the acquisition of 62.06 per cent stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) and a 100 per cent stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (BancABC).
The bank spent $40 million (Sh4.4 billion) on the deal with Atlas Mara so as to expand its regional presence and cement its market leader position.
Once the transaction is finalized, KCB will have an asset base of over 10 billion dollars (Ksh1 trillion).