NCBA Bank to open new branches in expansion drive

NCBA Group
Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

NCBA Group will spend close to Sh200 million as capital expenditure in opening new branches as part of local expansion.

The bank plans to add 10 new branches this year in 10 counties to support its business growth, especially retail banking and asset financing businesses.

The branch will add to 85 branches spread across 22 counties with the majority of the branches concentrated around Nairobi and its environs, Mombasa, and Kisumu cities.

“We are looking to open 10 branches in each county. In terms of how much these branches cost, on average somewhere between 15 million to 20 million in terms of setting each,” said NCBA Group CEO John Gachora.

The lender has aggressively expanded its branch to grow its brand and customer base after a merger completed in 2019.

Last year, the bank opened six new branches - three in Kenya- bringing its network to a total of 103 across the region.

“…we will continue with these efforts to ensure better and smarter coverage of our network, as well as ensure that we are in the majority of counties in Kenya,” the bank stated in its annual report.

‘’Retail banking ended 2022 with loans worth Sh89 billion from Sh79 billion the previous year. The branch networks have also enhanced our services to regional corporates, enhancing our growth in that business.”

The overall banking sector has slowed down on opening more branches in the past years due to heavy investment in digital platforms.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has for instance paused any branch openings with a focus on digitisation.

‘’We have no plans to expand our branch network. For our expansion, we are going to use technology because right now we are reaching more clients than we have. So it’s clear to us that we are going to use technology and we are trying to make sure all your products are on our mobile app and you have no reason to visit a physical branch,” StanChart’s chief executive Kariuki Ngari.

The sector however registered an increase in the number of bank branches last year in emerging and new growth areas outside of the big cities.

The physical outlets grew to 1,475 in 2022 from 1,459 in 2021 translating to an increase of 16 branches or a 1.1 percent increase.