It took Equity Bank 30 years to grow into Kenya’s second largest lender but the regional bank has set itself only ten years to become the largest bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Equity BDCD is already Congo’s biggest foreign bank and only second to Rawbank.
Equity Bank Congo (EBC) and BCDC operations merged effective 31 December 2020 to create Equity BCDC, the second largest subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings.
The combined bank is already delivering impressive results as its assets have grown by 47 per cent, to Kes356 billion which propelled the lender to a trillion-shilling bank, the first Kenyan lender to achieve this feat.
In the nine months to September, Equity BCDC deposits swelled by 51 per cent to Kes304.6 billion showing the Bank is succeeding in its strategy to attract small businesses, mining companies and retail customers in the country with a population of more than 90 million people.
Equity Group CEO Dr James Mwangi said they had set a target to grow customer base to 100 million which could ultimately make them the biggest regional bank.
As a result Congo delivered a 94 per cent growth in revenues to Kes14.9 billion and a profit before tax jump of 150 per cent to Kes3.2 billion.
Cost to asset ratio improved from 7.7 per cent to 4.5 per cent while return on Equity improved to 11.1 per cent from 10 per cent.
“Equity BCDC in DRC continued to offer confidence of good investment decision. This is giving us strong confidence in our DRC story,” said Dr Mwangi the Group CEO while releasing the results.
Present in six countries and a commercial representative office in Ethiopia, Equity Group are a top two bank in the region’s two largest markets and in the top five in three other markets.
Dr Mwangi has grown Equity into a systemic bank and this has been witnessed through engagement with both the Kenyan and DRC governments which have coordinated with the lender and the private sector to organize trade missions between the two countries.
The exchange is set to unlock partnerships across the countries that will form the next regional powerhouses funded by Equity whose capital strength now allows it to finance big ticket projects.
Dr Mwangi recently said the lender will finance Kenyan and South African businesses looking to trade or invest in Africa with part of Kes500 billion funds raised from global lenders and customers’ deposits.
The lender, through its Kenyan arm and its DRC subsidiary EquityBCDC, is looking to fund businesses that are seeking opportunities in four DRC cities—Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma, and Mbuji Mayi.