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.

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.