Banking

The Banking industry in Kenya is governed by the Companies Act, the Banking Act, the Central Bank of Kenya Act and the various prudential guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The Banking industry in Kenya is governed by the Companies Act, the Banking Act, the Central Bank of Kenya Act and the various prudential guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). The banking sector was liberalised in 1995 and exchange controls lifted.

The CBK, which falls under the Minister for Finance docket, is responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policy and fostering the liquidity, solvency and proper functioning of the financial system.

As at December 2008 there were forty six banking and non bank institutions, fifteen micro finance institutions and one hundred and nine foreign exchange bureaus.

The banks have come together under the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), which serves as a lobby for the banking sector’s interests .The KBA serves a forum to address issues affecting members.

Woman walking next to a glass building

Over the last few years, the Banking sector in Kenya has continued to growth in assets, deposits, profitability and products offering. The growth has been mainly underpinned by;

  • an industry wide branch network expansion strategy both in Kenya and in the East African community region.
  • automation of a large number of services and a move towards emphasis on the complex customer needs rather than traditional ‘off-the-shelf’ banking products.

Players in this sector have experienced increased competition over the last few years resulting from increased innovations among the players and new entrants into the market.

Key issues facing the banking industry

The main challenges facing the Banking sector today include:

  • New regulations; For instance, the Finance Act 2008, which took effect on 1 January 2009 requires banks and mortgage firms to build a minimum core capital of KShs 1 billion by December 2012. This requirement, its hoped, will help transform small banks into more stable organisations. The implementation of this requirement poses a challenge to some of the existing banks and they may be forced to merge in order to comply.
  • Global financial crisis experienced in late 2008 is expected to affect the banking industry in Kenya especially in regard to deposits mobilisation, reduction in trade volumes and the performance of assets.
  • Others include declining interest margins

The role of PwC in the banking industry

PwC has extensive experience in serving the Banking sector in the African region and in Kenya in particular. Through our involvement in a large number of audit and non-audit assignments, including strategic and regulatory initiatives that influence the future of the sector, we have developed an in-depth knowledge of the sector which we apply to all our client relationships. PricewaterhouseCoopers is involved with the CBK, the Kenya Bankers Association and a number of the major players.

Promoting excellence in financial reporting

PwC is a proven thought leader and an advocate of good corporate governance and financial reporting in the region. Our success in this area is demonstrated by the success of our audit clients in the annual FiRe (Financial Reporting) awards presented by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK. The FiRe awards have the primary objective of promoting excellence in financial reporting, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility among Kenyan corporate organisations.

We have an enviable client base in the banking sector in Kenya, which enables us to continually refresh our knowledge of the sector and to benchmark practices and controls across sector players.


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Martin Whitehead
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