Eastleigh mall attracts seven banks in under a year

DN BBS Mall h

A part of Business Bay Square in Eastleigh. FILE PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Business Bay Square mall (BBS) in Nairobi’s Eastleigh has attracted seven banks in under a year, giving it a revenue boost at a time many malls have been struggling with low occupancy.

Absa Bank Kenya mid-last month became the latest entrant to the mall in the heart of Eastleigh, one of Nairobi's most vibrant commercial districts. The lender opened La Riba centre, a flagship branch seeking to meet the banking needs of Islamic community.

The entry of Absa follows that of I&M Bank that on February 1 also opened a branch on the third floor of BBS.

Diamond Trust Bank had in mid-December last year opened on the first floor of the same mall on the day it was opening seven other branches in different parts of the country, including Gikomba.

Absa’s entry means BBS has now attracted at least seven of the 12 banks it said it was targeting in a development that will deepen the concentration of banks in this spot. The lenders are motivated by the buzzing business activities in Eastleigh.

BBS in November last year also opened its doors to Salaam Microfinance Bank, being the same month that Premier Bank, formerly First Community Bank, also opened a branch there.

Gulf African Bank and NCBA opened branches in the same mall in August 2023.

The Eastleigh mall boasts 130,000 square metres, making it one of the largest malls in East Africa. It has also attracted other businesses such as Optica, Goodlife Pharmacy, Cleanfax Laundry and Cleaners, Beyond Fruits, Healthy U, KFC, Pizzahut, Galito’s and Artcaffe.

BBS Mall chief executive Munir Ahmed said at the opening of I&M branch at BBS that the mall and the neighbourhood holds many business opportunities. "This mall and Eastleigh are big enough for everyone. If you cannot do business here, you need to relook your business strategies," he said.

Besides BBS, many other banks including Co-op Bank of Kenya, KCB Kenya, Stanbic Bank Kenya and StanChart are in Eastleigh.

Eastleigh has over the years grown to become a throbbing, uncontrolled trading hub.

Shopping malls, new market centres and residential cum commercial centres have on the back of new or expanded road networks emerged the most popular centres for setting up new branches as banks compete for clients.

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