KCB Group added 2,560 employees to its payroll last year following the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Trust Merchant Bank (TMB) and fresh hiring across other units.
The transaction, which saw KCB acquire 85 percent in TMB mid-December last year, ultimately raised the workforce of the group to 11,098 in the year ended December from 8,538 in the previous year.
The DRC unit has 1,752 workers. KCB Group also added 720 employees in the Kenyan operations while an additional 52 and 20 were hired for the Rwandan and South Sudan subsidiaries respectively.
Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi units added 10, six and three workers respectively, further deepening KCB Group’s position as the biggest employer among Kenyan lenders.
The increase in the number of employees saw the bank’s staff costs rise 22.4 percent to Sh30.26 billion in the review period compared to Sh24.73 billion a year earlier.
The jump in payroll expenses inflated the bank’s overall operating costs from Sh60.82 billion to Sh72.6 billion.
“Costs were up 24.1 percent compared to last year on account of increased business activities and impact of BPR and TMB acquisitions,” said the lender.
The rise in costs was counterbalanced by higher income, a move that saw the bank report a record net profit of Sh40.8 billion, a 19.5 percent rise from Sh34.2 billion.
KCB Group’s pre-tax profit contribution from subsidiaries outside of KCB Bank Kenya in last year hit 17 percent or Sh9.78 billion, up from 13.9 percent in 2021.
The group saw a 47 percent increase in profit before tax from subsidiaries outside of KCB Bank Kenya driven by Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania businesses.
The Rwandan unit, Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) pre-tax profit was Sh3.69 billion, followed by KCB Tanzania (Sh1.57 billion), KCB South Sudan (Sh1.24 billion) and National Bank of Kenya (Sh1.02 billion).
The Burundi unit closed last year with Sh823 million pre-tax profit while that of KCB Uganda was Sh793 million. KCB Bancassurance Intermediary Limited returned Sh638 million pre-tax earnings.
KCB Group closed last year with 603 branches, a rise from 492 in the previous year and now plans to open 12 new branches in Kenya and Tanzania to deepen its lead on physical locations.
Some six branches will be in Kenya while an equal number will be in Tanzania where KCB is still eying acquisitions after the deal to acquire 100 percent stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited collapsed in December 2021.
KCB’s total assets grew by 36.4 percent to Sh1.55 trillion, helped by increased lending, investment in government securities and funded by growth in customer deposits and additional borrowings.
Customer deposits hit the trillion shillings mark, increasing by 35.6 percent to Sh1.135 trillion, mainly from TMB and organic growth in the existing businesses.