11 November 2011

Rwanda: Equity Bank Commences Operations in Rwanda

Kenya's Equity Bank has started its operations Rwanda with four branches. The bank targets nine branches across the country by the end of this year.

Ahead of its official launch in the country, Equity opened up its main branch in Kigali at Kigali Reinsurance Plaza, and others in Muhanga, Musanze and Rubavu.

"We are commercially launching on November 22rd," Equity Bank Rwanda's Executive Director, Samuel Kirubi, told Business Times in a phone interview.

However, he declined to divulge details into the lender's operations.

It is understood that the lender is set to invest approx US$6.5million (Rwf3.8b) which is anticipated to boost lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through a new approach known as agency banking, a postal outlet contracted by a financial institution to process clients' transactions.

The bank says that the platform has been successful in Kenya.

Under this platform, rather than a branch teller, it is the owner of the retail outlet who conducts the transaction including client deposits, withdraws, and transfers of funds.

The bank plans four branches in Kigali by the end of the year.

Industry experts say Equity's entry will add value to the market through increased competition.

Equity has operations in Uganda, Southern Sudan and is expected to open shop in Tanzania. The bank becomes the third Kenyan bank to enter the Rwandan market, after KCB Rwanda and FINA Bank.

Copyright © 2011 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.