Kenyan bank taps Japanese market in growth plan


KCB Bank Kenya has signed a pact with Japan based giant lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) to drive cross-border trade and deepen financial inclusion.

The agreement between the two largest banks in their respective regions, signed in Yokohama last week, will see the two lenders expand their financial offerings provided to clients in both East Africa and Japan, effectively enabling more cross border trade flows.

Under the deal, KCB will provide banking services—including banking accounts and cash management, trade finance, export credit agency finance and treasury related products— to customers introduced by SMBC to KCB.

We believe that new business opportunities will arise from the rapid economic development in Kenya and therefore seek to areas of mutual partnership to support such development, utilizing the product capabilities and global and local network of both banks,” said Paul Russo, the KCB Group Director Regional Businesses during the signing ceremony on the sidelines of the 7thannual SMBC Africa Summit.

We expect to open up the East African market to the Asian market especially in the trade and motor vehicle industry,” Russo added.

KCB Bank works with several multinational companies in different industries such as motor vehicles, retail, household consumer products among others.

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Partnering with SMBC will expand the Bank’s portfolio increasing their global business operations. The deal will further strengthen SMBC coverage in Africa.

We are delighted to collaborate with KCB to forge a great working relationship. Cooperating with local financial institutions in Africa is indispensable for us to expand our Africa business and responding to customer needs,”said Tetsuro Imaeda, Managing Executive Officer & Head of EMEA Division, SMBC.

By signing the agreement between one of our most important partners in Africa, KCB, SMBC will be able to support our client’s business to East Africa through wide range of coverage of KCB in the areas and expects to further strengthen existing strong relationship,” Imaeda added.

KCB hopes to use this collaboration to expand its play in facilitating business in Africa.

Currently, the lender also has presence in Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia (rep office).

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KCB Bank Kenya Limited is the largest commercial bank in the country. A subsidiary of KCB Group Plc, the Bank has the largest branch network, with 200 branches, 367 ATMs and 16,000 agents offering banking services on a 24/7basis in East Africa.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is a Japanese multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Japan.

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group. SMBC is the second largest bank in Japan by assets.

Martin Mwita is a business reporter based in Kenya. He covers equities, capital markets, trade and the East African Cooperation markets.

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