Kenya is among key markets retained by Standard Chartered as the bank moves to significantly reduce its presence in Africa.
From operating in 15 African countries, StanChart will remain in 10. Kenya and Nigeria will be the firm’s biggest markets on the continent.
“As we set out earlier in the year, we are sharpening our focus on the most significant opportunities for growth while also simplifying our business,” stated StanChart Chief Executive Bill Winters.
“We remain excited by a number of opportunities we see in Africa and the Middle East region, as illustrated by our new markets, but remain disciplined in our assessment of where we can deliver significantly improved shareholder returns,” he added.
StanChart will continue to operate in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Mauritius, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt and Ghana. It is also exiting Jordan and Lebanon in the Middle East.
In neighbouring Tanzania, and in Cote d’Ivoire, StanChart will be shuttering retail banking services but will continue to offer corporate and institutional financial services.
The bank noted that it would tap into its international network to facilitate cross-border capital flows and offshore business in all the markets it is exiting.
Parallels have been drawn between the move and Barclays’ decision to sell a majority stake in its operations on continent in 2016. For many multinational banks, it is becoming apparent that having a presence across Africa through multiple subsidiaries doesn’t necessarily boost the bottom line.
The markets that StanChart will be exiting generated around one percent of total group income in 2021 income and a similar figure for profit before tax. Kenya contributes about 10 percent of the group’s earnings.