Markets & Finance

Equity to roll out agency banking in Zanzibar expansion plan


Equity Bank CEO, James Mwangi. PHOTO | FILE

Equity Bank is set to roll out agency banking in Zanzibar, where it commenced operations last week with its first branch on the island.

The lender is now operating 14 branches in Tanzania, where it set up shop in 2012 with an initial two branches.
Equity Bank Tanzania managing director, Joseph Iha said the lender will embrace the agency banking model adopted by its parent bank in Kenya, where over 25,000 agents processed 46 million transactions in the first nine months of 2016.

“Our plan is to expand our presence here in Zanzibar through more branches, agency banking and merchant banking,” said Mr Iha, adding that the bank will target SMEs and the tourism sector.

After- tax profit

The Tanzanian operation is currently supported by over 1,050 agents and merchants and 17 ATM outlets. 

Equity currently operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The lender reported an 18 per cent rise in after-tax profit to Sh15 billion for the nine months to September.

In this, Tanzania contributed a profit of Sh300 million, while Uganda and the Democratic Republic Congo both reported net profits of Sh500 million.

South Sudan reported a loss of Sh100 million following prolonged instability in the country while Rwanda reported a 16 per cent drop to Sh300 million.