The CBK. It has approved the mergers of several banks with the top three jostling for the top spot in Kenya. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) headquarters. A new report by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) shows that the lenders are being forced into riskier lending.

Just a day after Equity Bank launched its new strategy, the NCBA Group has unveiled a new logo and tagline.

After the merger between the Kenyatta family-owned CBA and NIC, NCBA becomes the third-largest bank by assets in the country.

The Central Bank of Kenya and the National Treasury granted approval for the merger of NIC Group PLC (NIC) and Commercial Bank of Africa Limited (CBA) via a Kenya Gazette notice of Friday, 27th September 2019.

Operations as NCBA Group PLC

The approval paved the way for the two organisations to officially start operations as NCBA Group PLC from Tuesday, 1st October 2019, with the Kenya operating bank being called NCBA Bank Kenya PLC.

Isaac Awuondo, Chairman designate of NCBA Bank Kenya PLC said, “Starting this month, the new NCBA logo and visual identity will be rolled out gradually across all our customer touch points.”

The bank will over the next month finalise the harmonisation of its systems so that its customers can enjoy seamless services across our channels in Kenya.

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NCBA Group Managing Director, John Gachora, said, “Our ambition is that by 1st November, all NCBA customers will experience the same service levels regardless of their previous relationship at NIC or CBA,” Gachora said.

The next phase of the merger is the integration of the businesses in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, which is still subject to specific regulatory approvals from those countries.

Equity Bank’s ‘all under one roof’ strategy

Equity Bank which is the second-largest bank in terms of assets in Kenya has unveiled a new look in line with the ongoing transformation and regional expansion.

The new identity is aimed at creating a “sustainable growth path” in the rapidly changing financial services environment.

Equity will present itself as a unified brand, with one basket of products and services under one roof – ranging from banking to insurance and investment.

From an identity perspective, the new logo now features the “Equity” name without an entity name such as Group, Bank, Insurance, or Investment Bank.

The bank which revolutionised Kenya’s banking sector by targeting the ‘unbankable’, has the largest number of customers dethroning even the KCB which is the largest bank by asset in Kenya.

In September, CBK approved the acquisition of 100% shareholding in National Bank of Kenya (NBK) by KCB Group.

In a statement, CBK said the move would strengthen both institutions leveraging on their respective well-established domestic and regional corporate, public sector and retail franchises.

The approval, which was granted in accordance with Section 13 (1) (c) of the Banking Act, comes despite opposition from the National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee, which holds that KCB Group undervalued NBK’s worth.

Its report is yet to be tabled for debate.

High Court Judge Weldon Korir threw out a suit filed by Evans Aseto and John Kiptoo seeking to stop the buyout on grounds that due process had not been followed, saying there was no evidence to that effect.

Kenya’s three biggest banks seem to be jostling for the top position to cement their influence in the country and beyond.

All the banks have operations outside Kenyan and strengthening their bases at home would be a strategy to expand even further, faster.

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