UBA Kenya plans to double branch network to 10


A UBA branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Banking group UBA Kenya plans to double its branch network in the country to 10 by end of next year.

The bank is among the small and medium-sized institutions that are still opening branches to catch up with their larger rivals which have more extensive distribution networks.

Branches are critical in acquiring customers, especially in the retail segment which brings in substantial deposits besides according for the largest volumes of transactions.

“Before the end of next year we hope to increase by five more branches. Last year we took out a strategic decision to reach out to cities outside Nairobi,” Chike Isiuwe, an executive at the bank’s parent firm UBA Group, said while addressing the Mombasa business community.

He added that UBA Kenya will continue to also offer digital banking services to its clients.

Most big banks have gone slow in opening new branches, preferring to intensify their investment in digital platforms such as mobile and internet banking.

Some large institutions still keen on growing their retail client base are however adding branches in locations where they see gaps in the market.

They include NCBA and Co-op Bank. NCBA, for instance, plans to open 12 new branches in Kenya this year as part of its local and regional expansion.

Co-op Bank also announced earlier this year that it will open seven new branches in the country this year, expanding its physical presence in areas it sees opportunities to grow its customer base. The ongoing expansion will raise the bank’s total branches to 200.

UBA Kenya started operations in October 2009, offering corporate, commercial, consumer, and international banking, trade services, cash management, and treasury services.

The institution made a net loss equivalent to Sh1.3 billion in the year ended December on high operating expenses. The loss widened from Sh447 million the year before.

UBA Group previously owned 99 percent of the Kenyan subsidiary but its stake has dropped to 81 percent with the entry of minority investors.

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