NCBA Group is set to open four new branches as it sets eyes on countrywide at a time banks are closing or merging outlets to cut costs.
The lender is set to set up the new branches in Kiambu, Ngong, Gikomba and Naivasha, signaling a move to expand further into retail banking, in addition to its corporate banking and asset financing core.
This will add to nine new branches the lender has already opened this year in Nyeri, Karatina, Embu, Ruiru, Kakamega, Bungoma, and Kericho to add to the new branches in Nairobi and Mombasa.
NCBA managing director John Gachora said the move is a deliberate strategy to boost the company’s physical network even as it digitises its banking network.
The shift to digital banking during the pandemic has seen the firm significantly increase its digital lending to Sh423 billion in the nine months to September, up from Sh311 billion in the same period last year.
Mr Gachora noted that new bank customers are still attached to banking halls especially when opening new accounts, adding that the new branches will also be used as advisory centres especially for business clients.
“In addition to our investments in modernising our technology architecture to deliver better customer propositions and to structurally improve our operational efficiency and agility, we have embarked on a bold branch expansion strategy. Since the beginning of the year, we have opened nine branches. We plan to open four more branches by the end of this year.” said Mr Gachora.
“Physical branches will drive our presence in more places because customers, especially those who are opening accounts for the first time, want that physical touch with the bank,” he added.
NCBA has posted a Sh6.5 billion net profit for the nine months to September, driven by lower loan loss provisions.
This is more than double the Sh2.5 billion net profit for a similar period last year as the lender also significantly grew interest income on increased lending.