Kenya bank joins Uganda market

Friday February 4 2011

By Isaac Khisa

Kampala

The Imperial Bank, a Kenya- based financial institution, has launched its services in Uganda, bringing the total number of banks in the country to 23. The bank, partnering with the Mukawano Group, opened its first subsidiary in Kampala on Monday.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, Mr Alnashir Popat, the bank’s chairman and Mr Alykhan Karmali, the Mukwano Group managing director, said the bank aims at bringing valuable and affordable services closer to the people.

Defined vision
Mr Karmali said: “Mukwano has a clearly defined vision of providing excellent products at affordable prices accompanied by unparalleled service levels across the region.” Adding that the group’s partnership with Imperial Bank will pave way for better value customer efficiency.

The move by the central bank to lift a moratorium on the creation of new banks new issued in 2007, has boosted the sector’s growth and improved penetration. Between 2008 and 2009, a number of existing banks went on an accelerated branch expansion either through mergers and acquisitions or through new branch openings.

Banking capacity
As of October 2010, there were twenty-two (22) licensed commercial banks in Uganda, with nearly four hundred (400) bank branches and a total of almost six hundred (600) ATMs.

As of December 2009, total commercial bank assets in Uganda were estimated at Shs8.73 trillion with the number of bank accounts estimated to be about three million. This represents a 16 per cent penetration, given Uganda's population of about 32 million people.

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