The detailed report on the Kenyan banking sector describes the current market, the latest regulatory developments and discusses factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 34 companies active in the sector, including the five leading banks, Equity Group, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), The Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank of Kenya. Also profiled are international banks, Bank of India and Citibank NA.
The Banking Sector in Kenya
The report on the Kenyan banking industry covers deposit-taking institutions which include other credit granting, lease financing, and loyalty and reward programmes. Kenya’s financial sector is well developed contributing 7% to GDP in 2016, with the banking sub-sector accounting for more than 60% of total assets in the financial services sector between January 2016 and March 2017. With 45 licensed commercial banks, 14 microfinance banks, and eight representative offices of foreign banks serving a population of approximately 50 million people, many analysts believe the country is overbanked.
A World Leader in Mobile Money Technology
Kenya is a world leader in mobile money technology. Innovations such as agent banking, which allows commercial banks and deposit-taking Micro Finance Institutions to engage the services of third party outlets to deliver specified financial services on their behalf, have improved financial inclusion in rural and urban areas. A study by Nielsen on Kenyan Retailers and Technology revealed that while the uptake in mobile usage in Kenya, where mobile penetration has reached 96%, has been significant, there still is significant scope for growth in the market, particularly in the retail environment.
Confronted by Numerous Challenges
Economic and regulatory challenges are reflected in the decline in growth of the financial services sector to 4.3% in the second quarter of 2017 compared to 8.1% in the same period in 2016. There are concerns that the financial services system could be jeopardised if fraud allegations against officials of the Central Bank of Kenya are substantiated. Meanwhile the running costs of banks are increasing. IT expenditure continues to grow in order for banks to keep up with regulatory requirements, improve efficiencies, and to increase digital products that will make banking cheaper for customers and improve banking inclusion.