DTB set to open 24 new Kenya branches in expansion plans


DTB chairman Linus Gitahi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

DTB Group is set to open 24 more branches in Kenya as part of the bank's strategy to grow in its core areas besides recruiting clients in new sectors of the economy.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm opened seven new branches in Kenya and Tanzania last year and is picking up the pace this year, according to its annual report.

“In 2023, we plan to open up to 24 branches, principally in Kenya. We believe that this will provide ease of access to our growing customer base who operate in the sectors that we have traditionally been strong in, such as trade, real estate and manufacturing, as well as some of the new sectors which provide opportunity for growth including agriculture, health, education, etc,” said DTB chairman Linus Gitahi.

“We see branches no longer as just transaction processing centres but, increasingly as centres where our customers can consult and get advice from our staff as well as business meeting points for their use.”

The seven branches opened last year raised the bank’s total distribution network to 134 as of December.

The company has already started the expansion scheduled for this year, opening three new branches in Kiambu town and Nairobi’s Baba Dogo and Kijabe Street as of March.

The strategy will cement Kenya as its most important market with 70 branches so far. DTB also operates in Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi in a growth and diversification model.

While the uptake of digital banking platforms such as agency, Internet and mobile has accelerated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, physical branches are still seen as important for the recruitment of new customers and boosting service delivery.

Other banks, which have followed DTB’s strategy of expanding their branch network in Kenya, said customers are likely to open an account with an institution with a branch near their business, work or residence.

Once new customers have been recruited at branches, they can be linked up with digital banking services whose ultimate goal is to raise efficiencies.

DTB reported a 55 percent jump in net income to Sh6 billion last year on the back of higher interest and non-interest income.

The Kenya Bankers Association banking industry customer satisfaction survey for 2022 shows that the preference for branch banking spiked to 17.6 per cent last year, shooting past the 2019 levels of 13 percent before the pandemic drove customers to digital channels.

The company raised its dividend payout by 66 percent to Sh5 per share, joining other listed lenders in making record distributions to shareholders.

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