Sunday, April 29, 2012

NIC to open Uganda branch in growth drive

NIC Bank Managing Director, James Macharia. Photo/FILE

NIC Bank Managing Director, James Macharia. Photo/FILE 

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

NIC Bank will open its doors in Uganda next month as competition to win customers intensifies regionally.

The Uganda subsidiary will be the bank’s second in the region after it acquired a majority stake in Savings & Finance Commercial Bank in 2009.

“We are simply following our customers as they expand regionally. Our take is that if we fail to give them a regional proposition, they would take business to other banks,” NIC managing director James Macharia said.

KCB, Equity Bank, DTB, CBA and Cooperative Bank are some of the local banks with regional presence, with the first three operational in almost all the five East Africa Community member states and South Sudan.

Multinationals, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered, and Stanbic Bank have representation from their sister subsidiaries in the region. 

NIC’s Uganda subsidiary will focus on corporate banking. Bank of Uganda inspected the subsidiary on Friday last week for final regulatory approvals.

“We didn’t want to start from scratch in terms of setting up, it has taken us over a year searching for a bank we could acquire but unfortunately we could not get one that had the right fit,” Mr Macharia said.

Need to fund the regional foray is part of the reasons why the bank will be seeking to raise an additional Sh2 billion from its shareholders through a rights issue planned later in the year.

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