If all 29 tier two and tier three banks met outside Kencom house and were let into KCB’s iconic building, they will fit right into the bank with all their assets in tow.
Kenya’s smaller 29 banks have an average asset size of Kes1 trillion combined, yet KCB Bank alone has an asset size of Kes953 billion.
The biggest lender in Kenya by assets is en-route to becoming a Kes1 Trillion bank with the acquisition of National Bank of Kenya propelling KCB out of sight of its peers.
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KCB which bought National Bank last year increased its customer deposits by Kes195 billion and managed an additional Kes81 billion in loans.
The bank has captured one of Kenya’s leading corporate and state bodies banker which for instance, NBK collected slightly over Kes100 billion in taxes last year, making it one of the top five largest collectors
Making of a Kes1 trillion Bank will essentially position KCB as one of the biggest African banks grappling with the huge Nigerian, Egyptian and South African lenders that dominate the continent.
KCB Group has already been making its mark having been ranked at position 717 in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks ranking for 2019, emerging 21 in Africa and number 1 in Eastern Africa, out of close to 2000 financial institutions that were analyzed based on 2018 full-year financial results.
Equity Bank which for a long time is KCB Banks closest rival has an asset base of Kes746.4 billion.
Equity Bank which just recently bought stake in Congolese lender Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) which has an asset base of $685 million which means it may add about Kes73.9 billion.
CBA a tier-one bank joined up with NIC forming NCBA to get a chance at being a contender in the race but are still at the halfway mark with Kes 514 billion in assets.
Cooperative Bank which has historically been the third-biggest lender has an asset base of Kes513 billion and are on a mini race with NCBA.
Cooperative Bank also closed the Jamii Bora deal at Kes1 billion giving them a Kes10 billion-asset bank which it has renamed Kingdom Bank.
Initially, Kenyan Banks have tended to race to expand in the region to establish their dominance.
Eleven Kenyan banks have subsidiaries in the East African Community (EAC) member states as well as South Sudan where three lenders, KCB, Equity and Cooperative Bank have operations.
Others in the region include DTB, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Bank of Africa (BOAK), Guaranty Trust Bank, I&M Bank, ABC and NIC Bank.
Their regional assets have not been able to match the potential of the Kenyan market making only a fraction of the lender’s operations.
Consolidation continues to be the most effective path for growth given the relatively mature Kenyan market and slower regional growth.
Diamond Trust Bank swallowed its affiliate Habib Bank Limited Kenya and created an asset book of Kes357 billion.
The State Bank of Mauritius became a tier two lender overnight when it bought Chase Bank books, increasing its assets from Kes11.7 billion to Kes75.3 billion.
When the Indian Ocean Island banker bought Fidelity Bank it could only make a tier three lender with 14 branches and ranked 31 out of 41 Kenyan banks.
In June 2016 I&M bank started off the rout for building size from acquiring other lenders when it bought Giro Commercial Bank, years since GTBank bought Fina Bank in of November 2013.