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KCB cracks up rivalry with Islamic banks

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Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has announced plans to open eight new Islamic banking branches by the year end as it seeks to tap into Islamic finance.

Through its Islamic finance arm Sahl Banking, the lender Thursday opened a new center in Wajir as part of its expansion drive across the country – the new branch opening follows a similar set up in Nairobi’s Kimathi Street.

The branches will only offer Sharia-compliant financial products and services.

KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said the bank will aim to take advantage of the rising demand for Islamic products as well as broaden its financial inclusion to customers left out by conventional banking system.

The move is part of the Bank’s long term vision to expand its presence, and diversify its product offering and innovation to support the Islamic financial needs.

“As a Bank, we are continuously seeking for ways in which we can offer the best services to our customers. Through our e-payments agenda, we hope to increase customer adoption through incorporating digital technology in Sharia Compliant products.

In 2016, we are focusing on increasing uptake of Sahl Banking by taking the services near the customers and making them efficiently accessible to all through mobile and internet banking,” said Jaafar Abdulkadir KCB Bank Kenya head of Islamic banking.

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The entire branch network in Kenya offers the Sahl products and it is keen to enhance the quality of customer experience by having dedicated centres in select locations like Eastleigh, Mombasa, Lamu and Garissa among others.

Following the launch of Sahl Banking early last year, the business has posted impressive growth and provided new solutions and means of payment for Sahl customers.

According to World Bank, the Islamic finance industry has expanded rapidly over the past decade, growing at 10 to 12 percent annually.

Today, Sharia-compliant financial assets are estimated at roughly US$2 trillion, covering bank and non-bank financial institutions, capital markets, money markets and insurance.



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