The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Banks Mad Dash for Eldoret

NUMEROUS banks are in a mad rush to open branches in the town of Eldoret. Following the peaceful election of March 4,Most institution have started to show confidence in doing business in the town.

With over 35 banks currently, the town remains the tiger of the six counties that make up the North Rift region.However lack of proper structures for banking is said to have delayed the opening of Gulf Bank, UBA and First Community banks.

Eldoret DTB Branch Manager Joshua Tapatayia says his bank had planned to open the branch in town as early as 2006 but this was delayed due to lack of appropriate office space and the political violence of 2007.

"We had no choice but to waiting for the completion of the town's first mall thus we opened up in 2010," said Tapatayia.Commercial Bank of Africa was set to open up its branch in Eldoret in 2009, but according to the manager its manager, the challenge of building to set up its office forced it to open up in later in 2011.

Eldoret branch manager for I&M Bank Silas Yator said most town were in a mad rush to tap in the towns strategic location and its financial potential.

"Banks go where there is money and Eldoret has proven to such a rapidly growing town that's why there is an influx of banks in the town now," said Yator adding they were also keen on tapping on the opportunities brought by the devolved system of governance.

I&M branch manager noted that the town was strategically located to serve not only the residence of the county but also the western circuit including the neigbouring countries who he said frequent the it for business and services.

"This town has the second largest referral hospital in the country and it connects Kenya to Uganda and Southern Sudan through road network thus it has huge potential of turning into a major business hub," said Yator.

The 2007 post election violence had tarnish the reputation of the town however, According to a recent survey conducted of selected cities in Kenya by the world bank, Eldoret was ranked as the 5th best city in the country to do business.

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