In Summary
  • CBK 2017 report says the banks continue to experience mixed fortunes with overall profitability in the regional subsidiaries registering a slight decrease.
  • The decline was noted in Tanzania and Uganda, where six Kenyan banks posted losses.
  • Some markets, particularly South Sudan and Burundi, have proved volatile due to insecurity.

Despite venturing into the wider East African Community market hoping to replicate their success at home, Kenyan banks are not having it easy.

The Central Bank of Kenya 2017 report says the banks continue to experience mixed fortunes with overall profitability in the regional subsidiaries registering a slight decrease from $86.7 million in 2016 to $85.8 million in 2017.

The decline was noted in Tanzania and Uganda, where six Kenyan banks posted losses.

“Six subsidiaries registered losses before tax. Of these, three operated in Uganda and two in Tanzania indicating the presence of stiff competition and market dominance,” CBK said.

Notably, subsidiaries operating in Rwanda accounted for the highest profits at 29.4 per cent of the total profits, followed by those operating in Uganda at 19.5 per cent and Tanzania at 17.8 per cent.

Nine Kenyan banks have ventured beyond the country’s borders, with a few like Equity Group, I&M Bank #ticker:I&M and Prime Bank expanding beyond EAC boundaries to the DR Congo, Malawi and Botswana.

Some markets, particularly South Sudan and Burundi, have proved volatile due to insecurity.

Currently only Kenya’s KCB Group #ticker:KCB , Equity Group #ticker:EQTY and Co-operative Bank of Kenya #ticker:COOP operate in South Sudan.

The subdued performance of the regional subsidiaries was a further blow for Kenyan banks which experienced a turbulent year in the domestic market due to interest rate capping, unfavourable weather conditions and a prolonged electioneering period.

Page 1 of 2