The Banking Sector in Kenya
Kenya’s financial sector is well developed although the country is considered overbanked with 40 registered banks. The market is highly concentrated with the 12 listed commercial banks owning 89% of the total assets in 2018. Commentators view the industry as well capitalised and performance is steadily picking up momentum since the market shock of 2016 when the government introduced capped interest rates that discouraged savings, reduced private sector and SME access to credit and impeded banking sector competition, particularly by reducing smaller banks’ profitability. Innovations such as agent banking, which allows commercial banks and microfinance banks 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.
Mobile financial services are the preferred method to access financial services and are used by almost 80% of the adult population. There are more than 20 digital credit services in Kenya, and new services continue to come on stream. Mobile money services include M-Pesa, M-Shwari, Airtel Money, Orange/Telkom Money, Equitel Money, Mobikash and Tangaza, with M-Pesa having the bulk of the market share in terms of active subscribers, number of transactions, and value of transactions. Total mobile money transactions in Kenya reached US$38.5bn in 2018, and the total number of mobile money accounts in Kenya reached 45.43 million.
The report on the Kenyan banking industry covers deposit-taking institutions which include other credit granting, lease financing, and loyalty and reward programmes, as well as central banking. The report includes information on the size and state of the industry, its major players and specific areas of interest such as mobile and Islamic banking. There are profiles of 37 companies including major players such as Equity Bank and the Co-operative Bank of Kenya and Barclays, which is set to complete its rebranding to Absa by 2020. Profiles also include those of Key Microfinance Bank, which changed its name from Remu Microfinance Bank, and international banks Citibank and Bank of India.