Saturday September 22 2012

Crane Bank expansion on course

By Francis Mugerwa


Crane Bank, Uganda’s fifth largest lender is nearing the completion of its Shs41 billion ($16.5million) expansion plan that will see the bank close 2012 with 26 branches, up from 15 at the start of this year.

The bank is also on a steady path to moving beyond Uganda’s boarder with plans to launch in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Speaking at the launch of the bank’s 23rd branch early this week in Hoima District, Mr Sudhir Ruparelia, the Crane Bank vice chairman, said the current expansion plan is part of a five- year customer excellence strategy that seeks to have at least 50 branches by the end of 2015. He said: “Our very foundation sits on being a bank for every need and every person. We thus set ourselves a very ambitious strategy of opening shop in every major town in Uganda by 2015.”

Banks have in the last five years pursued an ambitious expansion plan as they seek to tap into a growing bankable population in rural Uganda as well as boosting financial inclusion.

Mr A. R. Kalan, the bank’s managing director said Crane Bank’s ambitious vision is backed by shareholders commitment evidenced through solid capitalisation and the support offered for the expansion plan.

He said: “Today, Crane Bank is the only one with a paid-up capital of Shs100 billion, a sign that we are here for the long-term,” he said.