Access Bank, Nigeria’s top lender is looking into expansionary plans in the Kenyan market by targeting nine counties.
This is following the buyout of Transnational Bank, a tier 3 bank at Kshs 1.4 billion. The expansionary plans will facilitate the bank reaching more customers in the Kenyan market.
The Nigerian lender is eyeing a market niche of trade financing which remains low in many counties.
“We are want to launch into nine new counties in two phases starting January. Agribusiness financing has been the traditional strength, but we want to venture into new areas,” said the bank, Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe.
According to the bank, some counties will have more than one branch depending on the opportunities.
However, Access bank did not disclose how much it is willing to spend on the expansionary plans.
The Five counties targeted in the first phase include Kiambu, Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos, and Meru. The second phase will be followed by Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisii, and Nyandarua.
Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe said that the expansionary plans are in line with the Group’s strategy to become the Africa gateway of finance.
“We are excited about the potential that exists in the East-African market. We will leverage our presence in key payment corridors, and strong partnerships in non-presence countries to serve customers,” said Herbt Wigwe.
This will bring the total portfolio of counties to 24 branches from the current 12 including Nairobi.
Nairobi is the leading provider of services with five branches followed by Nakuru (four), and Uasin Gishu (three).
Before the acquisition, Transnational Bank had strong roots in agribusiness financing. The Nigeria lender hopes to capitalize on this and strengthen trade financing, corporate banking and SME Lending.
Transnational Bank had financial turmoils having suffered a loss of Kshs 83.9 million in 2019 compared to a Kshs 71.8 million in the previous year. The bank had total net assets of Kshs 9.7 billion before the buyout.
Mr. Wigwe said that Access Bank will inject fresh capital into the new line of business to strengthen its working capital and maximize returns for the shareholders.