Kenya bank jobs increase to seven-year high


NCBA headquarters in Upper Hill in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

Jobs in the banking sector rose to a seven-year high of 36,107 as banks added 3,667 new staff in 2022, according to new disclosures by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The total number of jobs in the industry now stands at the highest level since 2015 while the number of jobs added last year was the highest in 14 years since 2008.

The 11.3 percent increase in employment in the banking sector covered all categories but the bulk of new jobs was concentrated on secretarial staff whose count hit 4,005 from 2,498 in 2021.

Meanwhile, jobs in management and supervisory levels rose by 5.4 and 6.5 percent to 10,956 and 8,257 respectively as clerical roles grew by 9.3 percent to 12,889.

The CBK has attributed the rise of employment in the sector to the demand for additional staff especially among big banks.

“The increase was largely attributed to some large banks recruiting additional sales and payment channels support,” the banking sector regulator noted.

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At the same time, banks opened an additional 16 branches in the year resulting in more staff hires for the sector in the period.

During the year, Diamond Trust Bank had indicated plans to open 17 new branches in an expansion drive whose cost was estimated at Sh350 million.

In the same period, NCBA Bank Kenya opened 12 branches while Co-operative Bank of Kenya announced it would open seven new branches in a customer recruitment drive.

The new branch openings served to negate closures by other banking institutions including SBM and Faulu Microfinance Bank.

The combined increase of banking sector staff and network has coincided with the return of customers to banking halls, albeit the digital switch which has seen the rise of mobile and internet banking channels.

According to a March customer satisfaction survey by the Kenya Bankers Association, the preference for branch banking shot to 17.6 percent last year, surpassing the 2019 levels of 13 percent which were recorded prior to the Covid-19 crisis after which the pandemic drove digital banking solutions to their peak.

The increased staffing levels in the banking sector has meant higher operating costs with salaries and wages increasing by 13.3 percent to Sh117.6 billion last year from Sh103.8 billion in 2021.

Banks have nevertheless offset the increased staffing costs by booking greater revenues from their diversified income streams.

“Salaries and wages as a ratio of income decreased from 16.5 percent in 2021 to Sh15.8 percent in 2022 reflecting a lower increase in staffing costs compared to the increase in income,” the CBK added.

The grand total of banking sector operating income improved to Sh560.8 billion from Sh475.6 billion in 2021.

During the period, banking institutions booked higher income from a rebound in private sector lending and non-interest funded sources including foreign exchange trading and trade finance.

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The industry’s net profit in 2022 jumped to Sh175.49 billion from Sh143.3 billion a year prior.

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