I&M Bank opens eight new branches, plans 12 more in expansion drive

I&M Bank branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG

I&M Bank has opened eight new branches in Kenya and plans to add 12 more this year as part of an expansion drive to bring products and services closer to its customers.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed lender said yesterday the new outlets have been spread out in the coastal region (Diani, Watamu, Kilifi), Nairobi city (Eastleigh, Gikomba, and Saifee Park in Langata) and one each in Naivasha and Tatu City in Kiambu.

The newly opened branches take I&M Group branch network to 93 in the region, with 49 being in Kenya and spread out in 15 counties.

Opening of 12 more will take its physical locations in Kenya to 61.

Shameer Patel, I&M Bank executive general manager for personal and business banking said more branches will help the lender to offer personalised customer-first services and products that will support and uplift individuals and local communities:

“Our branch expansion complements our digital services and is a result of our focus to being close to our customers and driving higher personalised engagement. The expansion is also geared towards driving financial inclusion and extending our reach to new locations across the Country”, said Mr Patel.

The lender said three of the new branches are upcycled end-of-life shipping container branches and will be powered by solar, in line with the bank’s push to reduce its carbon footprint.

Now in its 50th year, I&M Bank wants to roll out more branches guided by its iMara strategy that has prioritised expanding its retail services through initiatives such as new innovative retail products and expanding its credit facilities.

I&M follows DTB Bank Kenya which in mid-December opened eight new branches. Other lenders including KCB Bank Kenya and Co-operative Bank of Kenya also opened new branches last year.

Banks have been deepening their digital offerings but many customers are still not ready to completely let go of the branches, which lenders are now increasingly using for business advisory services.

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

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