Top Banks in Kenya
Overview of Kenya's leading financial institutions
Overview of Kenya's leading financial institutions
Banks in Kenya are supervised by Banki Kuu ya Kenya or the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Based in Nairobi, CBK was formed in 1966, following the dissolution of the East African Currency Board. The central bank is in charge of establishing a monetary policy that aims to maintain the stability of prices. Other responsibilities include forming and implementing foreign exchange policies, promoting financial stability, and issuing currency.
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the long-term local currency deposit ratings of the three banks in Kenya – KCB Bank Kenya Limited, Equity Bank Kenya Limited, and Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited – from B1 (Rating Under Review) to B2 (stable outlook). The rating downgrade comes after continued weakness of the credit profile of the Kenyan government.
For anyone who is considering a banking career in Kenya, this list of top banks in Kenya is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
Financial services provider Equity Bank Kenya Limited was founded in 2014, making it one of the youngest banks in Kenya. It offers a wide range of financial products and services, including loans, mortgages, investments, debit and credit cards, retail banking, and microfinance. Based in Nairobi, it also operates subsidiaries in other countries, such as South Sudan, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited, commonly known as Standard Chartered Kenya, is a commercial bank that offers banking products and services such as transaction accounts, loans, savings, debit cards, and investments. Established in 1911, and therfore the oldest of the banks in Kenya, it is a subsidiary of the Standard Chartered, the British multinational financial group. Headquartered in Nairobi, it oversees a network of 33 branches and 90 ATMs throughout the country.
Barclays Bank Kenya started its operations in the country in 1916, making it also one of the oldest banks in Kenya. It is also one of the leading banks in terms of international and domestic resources, as well as in terms of financial strength. It provides a range of products and services including loans, savings, credit cards, mortgages, and investments to individuals and small and large business customers. Based in Nairobi, the bank operates as a subsidiary of UK-based Barclays Bank.
Kenya Commercial Bank is a financial services provider that was established in 2015. With 168 branches, it owns the largest banking network of any of the banks in Kenya. The bank provides various banking products and services, such as credit cards, loans, savings, mortgages, and investments. Its headquarters is in Nairobi.
With more than 3.5 million accounts in 2013, Cooperative Bank of Kenya oversees the second largest customer base in the country. The bank provides an array of banking services such as loans, savings, debit cards, checking, and investments. As a result of its strong financial growth, Cooperative Bank of Kenya was named Best Bank of Kenya by the London Financial Times in 2010. It was established in 1965, with headquarters in Nairobi.
Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Ltd (DTB) provides various banking products and services, including mortgages, investments, insurance, savings and deposit accounts, debit and credit cards, money transfer services, and asset finance. Its flagship company is the Diamond Trust Bank Group, a major financial institution in East Africa, with a strong presence in other countries such as Uganda and Tanzania. Based in Nairobi, Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya was founded in 1945.
The government-owned National Bank of Kenya, or simply National Bank, is one of the largest banks in Kenya, providing a range of products, including savings, loans, checking, debit and credit cards, and investments, to individuals, SMEs, and large corporations. Established in 1968, the bank operates out of Nairobi.
Stanbic Bank provides banking products and services that include commercial, retail, and private banking, asset management, credit cards, and mortgages. It is a division of Standard Bank, which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1992, the trading name, Stanbic Bank, was adopted when Standard Bank Group acquired ANZ Grindlays Bank, to differentiate it from Standard Chartered Bank, the former parent bank of Standard Bank.
Commercial Bank of Africa is the largest of all privately-owned commercial banks in Kenya. It was established in 1962 in Tanzania, then opened branches in Nairobi and Mombasa. In 1967, Tanzania nationalized private banks, and Commercial Bank of Africa transferred its main office to Nairobi.
National Industrial Credit Bank, or NIC Bank, provides various banking solutions, including savings, loans, transaction accounts, debit and credit cards, and investments. The commercial bank was founded in 1959, as a result of a joint venture by Standard Bank Limited in South Africa and Mercantile Credit Company Limited in the United Kingdom. Headquartered in Nairobi, NIC Bank oversees subsidiary companies in the country, as well as in Uganda. It also owns a controlling interest in NIC Bank Tanzania.
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This has been a guide to the top banks in Kenya. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: