Co-op Bank to extend its foot print with the launch of five new branches

According to Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki, the new sites for branches have been determined through rigorous market research and will blend with continued investment in alternative service channels such as agency banking.

The move continues last year’s trend when Co-op Bank’s branch network increased from 148 to 155 necessitating the recruitment of additional 182 employees.

Co-operative Bank is not relenting on it’s expansion trajectory tailored to retain its position as one of the biggest financial institutions in the region.

The Bank is set to open five new branches, taking its total physical outlets to 160 despite the industry’s growing focus on digital banking channels.

The new branches will be based in Nairobi, Kapenguria, Maralal and Chogoria as the lender seeks to keep up with competition in cash-rich areas while also reaching out to underserved regions.

According to Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki, the new sites for branches have been determined through rigorous market research and will blend with continued investment in alternative service channels such as agency banking.

“We believe there is no one single channel that will displace all others. Rather, it is the investment in an optimal and balanced multichannel strategy that will offer a fulfilling experience to the customer,” Mr Muriuki said.

In Nairobi, Co-op Bank will add two more branches — one along Kenyatta Avenue at Standard Building and another at the upcoming Parliament tower.

The soon to be opened Kenyatta Avenue branch is undergoing final touches, with branding having been done. It will bring competition to the doorstep of Sidian Bank, which is also on the same building.

Kenyatta Avenue already has Equity, Standard Chartered, I&M, Gulf African, National Bank of Kenya, Bank of India, Ecobank and Stanbic bank, showing the significance of the location to bankers.

The move continues last year’s trend when Co-op Bank’s branch network increased from 148 to 155 necessitating the recruitment of additional 182 employees.

Mr Muriuki says the branches are increasingly becoming service hubs to the network of Saccos who form the bedrock of the bank’s customers. Bank agents also depend on branches for cash management services.

The Co-operative Bank Group has reported a pre-tax profit of KSh10.44 billion for the first half of 2019 compared to KSh9.98 billion recorded in a similar period in 2018. A growth of 5 per cent against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment in the period. Profit after tax was KSh7.5 Billion compared to KSh7.1 Billion in the previous year.

The Group continues to leverage on the benefits of the “Soaring Eagle” Transformation Agenda that has re-tooled and equipped the business with added competitive edge as reflected in the sustained growth in market share across all market segments and Counties, which has progressively deepened their Financial Inclusion model rooted in the over 15 million-member co-operative movement, that is the face of Kenya.

The Group is also employing a strategy for continued deepening and dominance in its domain market segment while reviewing opportunities to grow alternative revenues from other services like Bancassurance, and Leasing business being done through Co-op Bank Fleet Africa Leasing Ltd, a strategic joint venture with Super Group of South Africa.

The total operating income grew by 5 per cent from KSh21.8 billion to KSh23 billion.

Non-interest income increased by 25 per cent from KSh7 billion to KSh8.8 billion while interest income from government securities increased by 22 per cent from KSh4.5 billion to KSh5.5 billion.

The operating expenses remained controlled, growing by 5 per cent from KSh11.97 billion to KSh12.6 billion as a result of prudent cost management strategy and enhanced efficiency.

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