Equity Bank Tanzania, a subsidiary of Kenyan lender Equity Group has opened a new branch at the coastal city of Zanzibar consolidating the lender’s foothold in the regional market.
Equity Bank Tanzania said Wednesday in a statement the new branch will act as a gateway to tap the vast investment opportunities in the region. This brings to fourteen the total number of branches spread across Tanzania after the bank commenced its operations in 2012 with two branches.
“Since 2012 when Equity Bank set foot here in Tanzania, we have made major investments that have seen us play a pivotal role towards the economic growth of the Tanzanian economy as well as the financial sector as a whole. Our entry into Zanzibar underscores our commitment to further entrench our offering into the region”, said Equity Bank Tanzania Managing Director, Joseph Iha.
Equity Bank plans to expand to ten countries in the next five years at a cost of Sh200 billion, it announced in April last year.
It has set its eyes on entering Ethiopia and Burundi in the next one year before expanding southwards to Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The bank will turn to West Africa after five years, eyeing Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.
“In some countries it is difficult to start from scratch because they are too big so we will enter by acquiring a medium-tier bank and upscale it. For acquisition we will give shares in Equity Bank instead of cash which is why we are asking you to create new shares,” the bank’s chief executive James Mwangi said at the time.
Equity currently operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In both Uganda and DRC the bank opted to buy out local banks.
Equity Tanzania’s 14 branches are Quality Centre, Arusha, Kariokoo, Golden Jubilee, Mwanza, Supreme Centre, Mwenge, Mbagala, Dodoma, Temeke, Diaspora Branch, Moshi, Mbeya, Zanzibar.
The branch network is supported by over 800 agents and merchants and 17 ATM outlets.