KCB Group is set to open 12 new branches in Kenya and Tanzania this year in a move that will take its branches across the region past the 500 mark, deepening its lead on physical locations.
Six of the new branches will be in Kenya while the other half will be in Tanzania where KCB is still eyeing acquisitions after the deal to acquire a 100 percent stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited collapsed in December 2021. KCB Group managing director Paul Russo said that the move will help the lender reach more customers in these markets.
“We already have the approval to open six branches in Kenya and six more in Tanzania this year,” said Mr Russo.
The 12 branches will take KCB Group’s combined network to 510 branches from 498 last September, compared with its rival Equity Group which closed the period with 353 branches. Mr Russo did not disclose the specific locations but said as some locations change from largely residential to commercial hubs, KCB will continue seizing the moment to reach more customers. KCB is still keen on sealing an acquisition in Tanzania to grow the size of its current subsidiary which operates 15 branches that are served by 293 employees.
“Tanzania is a market we are still keen on. If an opportunity comes, we will take it. We are going ahead to open six branches in Tanzania this year. So it is a two-pronged approach, to pursue opportunities as well as scale up,” said Mr Russo.
“Numbers in KCB Tanzania have been up in the last six years. For that size of a market, you need more presence by building an ecosystem of both digital and physical location.”
KCB Tanzania closed 2021 with a net profit of Sh722 million compared with Sh216 million in the previous year. The subsidiary’s pre-tax profit had jumped by 49 percent to Sh1.13 billion in the nine months that ended September last year. About 16.3 percent or Sh7.04 billion of KCB Group’s pre-tax profit was from the subsidiaries, National Bank of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi, while Sh37.08 billion was from KCB Kenya.